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So, How Bad Is That Approval Rating?

Governor Lincoln Chafee didn't fare so well in the latest Brown University public opinion poll, with just 32 percent of voters saying he is doing an "excellent" or "good" job and 56 percent saying he is doing "only fair" or "poor."

Of course, this isn't a great time to be a politician. So here at N4N, we thought it might be instructive to compare Chafee's approval rating to that of other governors around the country - a thoroughly unscientific sampling of some regional governors and some prominent national ones.

An important note: these polls, by and large, ask voters whether they "approve" or "disapprove" of the job a governor is doing, which is not quite the same as the Brown poll question; politicians generally perform better on a straight approve/disapprove question - sometimes substantially so.

Still, this provides some sense for how other governors are faring:

  • Governor Deval Patrick, D-Massachusetts: 54 percent approve, 40 percent disapprove (Patrick, like Chafee, faced two other prominent candidates for governor)
  • Governor Jerry Brown, D-California: 48 percent approve, 21 percent disapprove (Brown, though very different from Chafee, is pursuing a somewhat similar mix of tax hikes and budget cuts)
  • Governor Andrew Cuomo: 69 percent approve, 20 percent disapprove (President Cuomo, anyone?)
  • Governor Paul LePage, R-Maine: 43 percent approve, 48 percent disapprove (a new governor and Tea Party favorite, he does not appear to be enjoying much of a honeymoon in Vacationland)
  • Governor Rick Scott, R-Florida: 35 percent approve, 48 percent disapprove (an ideological Republican, he has been a polarizing figure since before he even took office)
  • Governor Scott Walker, R-Wisconsin: 43 percent approve, 53 percent disapprove (he of the high-profile fight with public employees; his negatives have jumped significantly, but he's more popular than you might imagine given the turmoil in his state)
  • Governor John Kasich, R-Ohio: 30 percent approve, 46 percent disapprove (brutal numbers for this former Congressman)
  • Governor Chris Christie, R-New Jersey: 51 percent approve, 41 percent disapprove (his crusade against public employees and government spending remains popular - "he's not the Teflon govenor," one political scientist said, of the most recent poll numbers, "but right now he appears to be the armored governor")
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