The new gubernatorial approval polls done by Morning Consult, which polls those approval ratings quarterly, are out – and Louisiana governor John Bel Edwards continues to enjoy a favorable approval rating.
But at 53 percent approval, with 32 percent disapproving, Edwards has fallen off by five points from his previous 58 percent.
Edwards is tied for the 22nd-best approval rating in the poll, and interestingly he has the worst approval rating of governors in Deep South states – all the rest of whom are Republicans. The most popular of those is Arkansas’ Asa Hutchinson, at 63 percent, followed by Alabama’s Kay Ivey at 62. Next is Texas’ Greg Abbott at 58 percent, followed by Tennessee’s Bill Haslam at 57, Georgia’s Nathan Deal at 56, Mississippi’s Phil Bryant at 55 and Florida’s Rick Scott, who was previously seen as an unpopular governor, at 54. South Carolina’s Henry McMaster is two points lower than Edwards at 51, but he only has a 21 percent disapproval rating compared to Edwards’ 32.
North Carolina’s Roy Cooper is at 50 percent approval, while Virginia’s Terry MacAuliffe is at 48 and Kentucky’s Matt Bevin is at 45.
The number one reason why Edwards’ numbers are sinking is probably that his agenda irritates Louisiana’s voters. Edwards hasn’t stopped trying to raise taxes since he took office, and voters, particularly in a red state like Louisiana, will grow weary of such ideas. The state’s economy performing worst of all Gulf Coast states and second-worst in the southern region by one measure and worst in the country by another, which is to a degree a function of that agenda, surely doesn’t help either.
The most popular governor in the country is Charlie Baker of Massachusetts, interestingly enough a Republican in a blue state, at 69 percent approval. Baker seems to have figured out something few Republicans can – how to avoid having Democrats hate him without driving away his own base. That’s a formula New Jersey’s Chris Christie hasn’t managed; Christie is at the bottom of the rankings with an 18 percent approval rating and a whopping 77 percent disapproval.
Morning Consult also polled senatorial approval ratings, and in those Louisiana’s senators more or less resided in the fair-to-middling category. John Kennedy enjoys a 50 percent approval rating with 25 percent disapproval, while Bill Cassidy’s numbers are somewhat similar at 47-30. Those marks place Kennedy and Cassidy at 36th and 59th, respectively.
Kennedy and Cassidy probably shouldn’t feel too badly about those numbers. The most popular senator in the country? Vermont’s Bernie Sanders, who despite his multiple recent scandals and exposure of his presidential campaign as more of a moneymaking racket than much else still sits at 71 percent from the voters back home in Vermont. Sanders’ colleague from that state Patrick Leahy is the second-most popular, at 67. The least popular senator isn’t a major surprise – Bob Menendez of New Jersey, currently on trial for corruption, sits at 32 percent, just below Arizona’s Jeff Flake, who last week announced he wouldn’t run again, and Kentucky’s Mitch McConnell, at 33.