Race to the Bottom


If you lined up all the governor’s in the country, which would be the least popular?

The five least popular Governors we’ve tested are Bill Richardson, Deval Patrick, Jim Doyle, John Baldacci, and Jon Corzine while he was still in office.

And the lowest rated of those is Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, at 22%! But his job is not an easy one.

It’s really tough to be a big state Governor. Out of the 11 Governors we’ve looked at in states that have 10 or more electoral votes (MA has 12) only Tim Kaine at 46% while he was still in office and Jay Nixon at 42% have positive approval ratings. 7 of the 11 have disapproval numbers over 50.

To get a handle on Deval’s burden as he gears up for reelection, consider that South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford (the one with the South American girlfriend who only avoided impeachment because the legislature wants to have him to kick around) has an approval of 36%, and a disapproval number of 51% compared to Deval’s 22/59. Say’s Deval:

“We’ve got work to do, but I think that we’re on the right course.”

“It’s confirmed: Deval Patrick is the worst governor in America. For three years, he’s been more concerned with getting his political supporters state jobs and growing the size of government than helping create private sector jobs. Governor Patrick has simply been a disappointment, from failing to lower our property taxes to consistently imposing roadblocks for small businesses. His failed promises are a true mandate for change in the Corner Office come November.”

PPP has only rated about half the governor’s in the country, so, in theory, there could be some doing worse than Governor Patrick. Still, last or not, Deval’s got to convince Massachusetts voters to reelect him this fall.

Selling the positive view will be a fascinating test of Patrick’s political skills, because — outside of his office and his close circle of supportive advisors — most of Massachusetts long ago concluded that Patrick is a disappointment, if not a dud.

The general public began to lose faith in Patrick almost immediately, in his clumsy early days in office epitomized by the expensive drapes and the inappropriate call on behalf of Ameriquest. It has never recovered, as he has let himself be defined by his battles with legislative leaders, and by his steady string of small but infuriating missteps.

The fantasy of electing the inexperienced and unqualified to win relief from the mistakes of the experienced and qualified is hopefully winding down, because, sadly, our own aspirations don’t run the state… or the country.


2 Responses to “Race to the Bottom”

  1. 1 Brian

    Devalue’s principle problem is he is a very ordinary leader, as it turns out. Wafted ever higher on wings of affirmatively-activated expectations, the mediocrity has been exposed in the harsh glare of important elected office. He should go back to corporate sinecures.

    • 2 Brian

      While Devalue has a problem with principle, I meant “principal” above.

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