Politics & Government

Brownback no longer nation’s least popular governor

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has lost a title he probably didn’t care for much in the first place. The Republican is now the second least popular governor in the country, according to a new poll released Tuesday.
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has lost a title he probably didn’t care for much in the first place. The Republican is now the second least popular governor in the country, according to a new poll released Tuesday. File photo

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has lost a title he probably didn’t care much for in the first place.

The Republican is now the second-least popular governor in the country, according to a new poll released Tuesday.

Who’s the least popular governor in the U.S.? That would be Chris Christie of New Jersey.

Morning Consult, a media and survey research company based in the nation’s capital, said it polled more than 85,000 registered voters across the country from January to March to determine American public officials’ approval rankings.

Morning Consult polled 1,026 people in Kansas to determine rankings for the state’s leading politicians.

The data show that 66 percent of the people responding disapproved of Brownback’s work as the governor of Kansas, and 27 percent approved.

The second-place finish was an improvement for Brownback, who had been ranked by Morning Consult as the least popular governor.

Brownback’s spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the Morning Consult results.

Former Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley, who resigned from office amid scandal this week, had a 44 percent approval rating, 17 points higher than Brownback’s.

Brownback has been unpopular even among Kansas Republicans during the latter years of his term in office. Many moderate Republicans ran successful election campaigns in 2016 criticizing the governor’s policies.

Patrick Miller, a political science professor at the University of Kansas, said he doesn’t doubt that Brownback is “quite unpopular.”

Miller said it sounds as if Brownback’s approval support is probably down to the hardcore base of the Republican Party in Kansas.

“The people who approve of him now likely just approve of him because he’s a Republican and they’re a Republican,” Miller said.

Among senators, Kansas Republican Jerry Moran has a 51 percent approval rating and a 29 percent disapproval rating.

Pat Roberts, also a Republican, received a 47 percent approval rating and a 35 percent disapproval rating.

Contributing: Lindsay Wise of McClatchy

Hunter Woodall: 785-354-1388, @HunterMw

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