Three Govs Rated In New Poll

By John Celock

A new poll shows varied approval ratings for three of the nation’s governors.

A Quinnipiac University poll released Monday shows more approval than disapproval for Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D), Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R) and Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D). At the same time while Branstad has a higher approval than disapproval, he falls below the 50 percent approval rating mark that Hickenlooper and McAuliffe held in their states.

The poll shows that 48 percent of Iowa voters approved of Branstad’s job performance while 43 percent disapproved. The poll did show that the long serving governor holds high approval from Republicans while Democrats largely disapprove of Branstad, who is currently serving his sixth term. Independents narrowly approved of Branstad’s job performance.

Branstad is serving his sixth overall term as Iowa’s chief executive. Originally elected in 1982 after a four-year stint as lieutenant governor, Brandstad held the governorship until he was term limited out of office in 1999. He returned to the governor’s mansion in 2010 and was reelected last year. Branstad will be term limited again in the 2018 election.

Branstad is slated next year to surpass former New York Gov. George Clinton as the long serving governor in American history. Clinton, also a former vice president, held New York’s governorship for 21 years in the 18th and 19th Centuries.

Hickenlooper gained a 51 percent approval rating with 40 percent of Colorado voters disapproving of his job performance. The poll indicated that Hickenlooper’s job performance is supported by Democrats and independents, while Republicans disapprove of the second term governor’s job performance.

The poll comes as Hickenlooper recently concluded his year long term as chairman of the National Governors Association. A former Denver mayor, Hickenlooper has been mentioned as a potential Democratic vice presidential nominee next year. He is term limited from the governorship in 2018.

McAuliffe garnered a 50 percent job approval rating with 31 percent of Virginia voters disapproving of his performance. The poll followed the Iowa and Colorado results with Democrats approving of the Democratic chief executive and Republicans disapproving. Independents indicated that they favored McAuliffe’s approval.

McAuliffe, who is limited to one term under the Virginia constitution, over the weekend was elected vice chairman of the National Governors Association. Under NGA rules, McAuliffe will be elected to chairman of the association during the summer of 2016. Utah Gov. Gary Herbert (R) was elected NGA chairman for the coming year.