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Survey: WV Gov. Jim Justice 15th most popular governor in US


Charleston Gazette-Mail

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — After having a rough final night of the 2017 regular session, West Virginia may take solace in a survey released Tuesday showing that he is one of the more popular governors in the U.S.

Gov. Jim Justice

Conducted by Morning Consult, a digital media and survey research company based in Washington, D.C., the survey ranked Justice as the 15th most popular governor in the country, with a 58 percent approval rating among state voters, while 24 percent disapprove of his job performance. The remainder either had no opinion or said they didn’t know.

“The strong approval rating confirms the tremendous response the governor has received from the people the last few months as he’s traveled around the state,” spokesman Grant Herring said. “West Virginians trust Jim Justice to have their back and are rallying around his big ideas to create jobs.”

State Republican Party chairman Conrad Lucas, however, noted that the 10 most popular governors are all Republicans.

“That truly shows how well individuals respond to conservative reforms across the nation,” he said. “If Jim Justice’s continuing tax problems and scandals were more widely reported, he could only dream of having the approval rating that he does.”

The survey concluded that the most popular governor in the U.S. is Massachusetts’s Charlie Baker, who has a 75 percent approval rating, followed by Larry Hogan of Maryland, at 73 percent.

“Both governors have reputations as shrewd, bipartisan dealmakers who value results over party purity, and their constituents seem to appreciate that style,” the Morning Consult report stated.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was the least popular governor in the U.S., according to the survey, with a 71 percent disapproval rating. Morning Consult concluded that Christie continues to be dogged by the “Bridgegate” scandal, and that his poll numbers took a “turn for the worse” after he endorsed Donald Trump for president.

Christie unseated Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback as the most unpopular governor in America in the new polling. Some 66 percent of Kansans disapprove of Brownback’s job performance, the Morning Consult survey found, noting that he is “facing an intraparty battle with more moderate Republicans in the state legislature who are trying to expand Medicaid and address a budget shortfall prompted by tax cuts pushed by the governor.”

The online poll surveyed more than 85,000 registered voters nationally between January and March to rate the job performance of key elected officials, including governors.

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