How Gov. Jim Pillen’s Approval Compares to the Nation’s Most Popular Governors



The specific duties of elected officials vary considerably from one branch of government to the next and between the different levels of government. But one common responsibility shared by virtually all those in elected office is to balance the interests, values, and priorities of their constituents. This is no easy task, particularly for those in powerful, high-profile positions who represent hundreds of thousands if not millions of Americans.

Consider, for example, the U.S. president. Subject to the individual judgements of over 250 million voting-age Americans, most presidents in recent decades have had approval ratings below 50%. According to Gallup survey data, George H.W. Bush is the only president since the Kennedy assassination with an average approval rating above 60% – and even he was voted out of office after a single term. (Here is a look at the most – and least – effective presidents in U.S. history.)

Like the president, each of the 50 sitting U.S. governors has the role of a chief executive. And as the highest-ranking and highest-profile elected official in state government, governors are also subject to constant public scrutiny. And some appear to be doing a better job than others.

Based on 2023 survey data, Nebraska Gov. Jim Pillen has an approval rating of 45% and a disapproval rating of 30%. Based on these figures, Pillen ranks as the second least popular state governor in the country.

Pillen, a Republican, took office in 2023 and is currently serving his first term as governor.

All data in this story is from Morning Consult, a public opinion data research company. Governors were ranked by their approval rating. Ties were broken by disapproval ratings, and in the case when governors shared the same approval and disapproval rating, the governor with the largest survey sample size ranked higher.

RankGovernorStateApproval rating (%)Dissaproval rating (%)In office sinceParty1Phil ScottVermont78142017Republican2Mark GordonWyoming67242019Republican3Chris SununuNew Hampshire66292017Republican4Jim JusticeWest Virginia66312017Republican5Andy BeshearKentucky63322019Democratic6Josh GreenHawaii62222022Democratic7Sarah Huckabee SandersArkansas61272023Republican8Kay IveyAlabama61332017Republican9Ned LamontConnecticut61342019Democratic10Kristi NoemSouth Dakota61372019Republican11Brian KempGeorgia60332019Republican12Brad LittleIdaho60332019Republican13Bill LeeTennessee59312019Republican14John CarneyDelaware58312017Democratic15Greg GianforteMontana58332021Republican16Laura KellyKansas58342019Democratic17Jared PolisColorado58352019Democratic18Janet MillsMaine57402019Democratic19Doug BurgumNorth Dakota56262016Republican20Glenn YoungkinVirginia56322022Republican21Mike DeWineOhio56372019Republican22Ron DeSantisFlorida56382019Republican23Gavin NewsomCalifornia56382019Democratic24Gretchen WhitmerMichigan56402019Democratic25Wes MooreMaryland55162023Democratic26Maura HealeyMassachusetts55212023Democratic27Kim ReynoldsIowa55392017Republican28Spencer CoxUtah54302021Republican29Henry McMasterSouth Carolina54362017Republican30Tim WalzMinnesota54412019Democratic31Josh ShapiroPennsylvania53262023Democratic32Eric HolcombIndiana53342017Republican33Mike ParsonMissouri53342018Republican34Michael DunleavyAlaska53352018Republican35Philip MurphyNew Jersey53392018Democratic36Roy Cooper IIINorth Carolina52372017Democratic37Gregory AbbottTexas52432015Republican38JB PritzkerIllinois52432019Democratic39Tony EversWisconsin52432019Democratic40Kathy HochulNew York51412021Democratic41John Bel EdwardsLouisiana51412016Democratic42Kevin StittOklahoma51422019Republican43Jay InsleeWashington51432013Democratic44Michelle Lujan GrishamNew Mexico51432019Democratic45Dan McKeeRhode Island50372021Democratic46Joseph LombardoNevada49252023Republican47Tate ReevesMississippi48422020Republican48Katie HobbsArizona47362023Democratic49Jim PillenNebraska45302023Republican50Tina KotekOregon42392023Democratic

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