Gov. Sam Brownback remains the least popular governor in the nation, according to a new poll.
Seventy-one percent of respondents said they disapproved of Brownback’s job performance, according to an online survey of 713 Kansans. Twenty-three percent said they approved of Brownback’s job performance, and 6 percent were undecided.
The poll was conducted by Morning Consult, a media and research company based in Washington, D.C., that tracked approval ratings of governors nationwide between May and early September. It surveyed more than 70,000 registered voters nationwide.
The Kansas results have a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.
“Brownback’s unpopularity, a result of an austere budget and tax strategy that has hampered transportation and education in the state, has raised alarms among Republican officials who worry that other state GOP candidates could be in danger,” Morning Consult wrote in an analysis of the data.
Asked about the poll’s findings, Eileen Hawley, the governor’s spokeswoman, said in an e-mail that “Kansans have elected Governor Brownback to statewide office in five consecutive elections. The Governor is focused on preparing solutions for the challenges facing our state and looks forward to working with the legislature to address each of them when they return in January.”
The three most popular governors were all Republicans: South Dakota’s Dennis Daugaard, who has an approval rating of 74 percent, followed by Maryland’s Larry Hogan and Massachusetts’ Charlie Baker, who both have approval ratings of 70 percent.
Close behind Brownback in terms of unpopularity were Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy, a Democrat, who has a disapproval rating of 70 percent, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, who has a disapproval rating of 68 percent.
Malloy has come under scrutiny this year because of a federal probe into the finances of his 2014 campaign, while Christie has faced allegations in federal court that he knew that top aides ordered the closure of a bridge to New York City during rush hour in 2013 as political retribution against the hometown of his Democratic opponent.