Declining graph

Do you trust your governor to handle COVID-19?

Most Americans are losing faith in their governor’s ability to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, an ongoing survey shows. 

Governors across the nation have seen an average of a 10-point drop in approval between April and June 2020. Only five governors are seeing an increase in approval: those in Hawaii, Michigan, New Jersey, South Dakota and Vermont.

And politics appears to have little to do with it. The four governors with approval ratings above 70 percent — Gov. Charlie Baker of Massachusetts, Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland, Gov. Phil Scott of Vermont and Gov. Chris Sununu of New Hampshire — all happen to be Republicans in Democratic-leaning states. Meanwhile, among the 10 governors with approval ratings below 45 percent, eight are Republicans in GOP-leaning states.

The governor with the lowest approval rating is Arizona’s Republican Gov. Doug Ducey, whose approval dropped from a high of 57 percent in early May to 32 percent in late June. The researchers suggest that Ducey’s especially low rating may stem from the fact that when they surveyed Arizonans in late May, only 15 percent of respondents supported reopening “immediately,” despite the state government’s aggressive re-opening schedule.

The survey is being conducted by political scientist James Druckman as part of a consortium of four universities that includes Northwestern, Harvard, Northeastern and Rutgers.

“It is fascinating the extent to which Americans are in fact responding to the pandemic itself not entirely through the lens of partisanship,” Druckman says. “If your state is doing better handling cases, approval is more stable.”

Read the full report here.