Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is the most unpopular governor in America — and it’s not even close, a new poll showed Friday.
And results of the October jobs report, also released Friday, helped show why. The bottom line: Kansas has had the 10th worst rate of employment growth in the last year in the nation.
The poll was part of a survey of more than 75,000 people nationally by Morning Consult. The general conclusion: Governors are pretty popular, certainly better liked than Congress and President Barack Obama. Thirty-four governors have approval ratings of 50 percent or higher; 16 are over 60 percent.
However, Brownback is one of the 10 governors with a higher disapproval rating than approval.
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He is at the bottom of the list with a 26 percent approval rating — and it wasn’t even close for being the most disliked governor in America. His disapproval rating was a sky-high 65 percent.
Bobby Jindal of Louisiana is at only 35 percent approval, followed by Dan Malloy of Connecticut at 36 percent and Paul LePage of Maine at 39 percent.
The Brownback news can’t be surprising. He has presided over the crash of the Kansas budget, which has been decimated by the income tax cuts he helped usher through the Legislature in 2012. Just weeks ago, the state had to slash more than $120 million in additional spending because revenues continue to come in much weaker than expected.
Political party played no role in the poll; the GOP controls most of the nation’s gubernatorial seats. “The seven governors with the highest approval ratings are all Republicans, and eight of the nine governors with the lowest ratings are Republicans,” the survey found.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon had an approval rating of 52 percent.
Also Friday, new figures from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics said the state had gained 2,500 total nonfarm jobs since the September report.
That’s encouraging, as was the new unemployment rate of just 4.1 percent.
However, take a bit longer look than just a single month, and the employment situation in Kansas looks much more grim.
In fact, over the last year, Kansas has added only 10,900 total jobs, for a growth rate of .8 percent. That’s from October 2014 to October 2015.
That’s tied for 10th worst in the entire nation.
Missouri has a growth rate of 1 percent, tied for 16th worst in the country, after adding 27,100 jobs in the last year.
That continues a bad record for Kansas. It has been in the bottom 10 of year-over-year job growth for the second part of 2015. Here are examples of the disappointing news from August and from September, for instance.
To beat the dead horse, the continued lack of great employment news shows that the income tax cuts are not having the intended effect of boosting jobs and bringing in new revenue.