Gov. Jack Dalrymple Goes From America’s 4th Most Popular Governor to 21st


North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple waves to the crowd as he is recognized during the Cannon Ball Flag Day Celebration, along with Senator Heidi Heitkamp, Senator John Hoeven and Congressman Kevin Cramer. (Kevin Cederstrom/Forum News Service)

According to a national survey by the folks at MorningConsult, North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple is America’s 21st most popular governor.

“MorningConsult surveyed more than 71,900 voters in all 50 states between May and September 2016,” reports the Bismarck Tribune.

Dalrymple, specifically, has a 53 percent approval rating and a 28 percent disapproval rating with 19 percent saying they have no opinion, good to rank him 21 out of the nation’s 50 governors:


Dalrymple ranks just head of Ohio Governor, and erstwhile presidential candidate, John Kasich, and just behind Nebraska Republican Pete Ricketts.

I’m actually surprised that Dalrymple scored this low. Back in 2015 the folks at MorningConsult ranked him the 4th most popular governor with 66 percent approval and 15 percent disapproval.

Why the change? It’s probably two things.

First, the state’s fiscal and economic outlook has changed. With oil and crop prices tanking, our state has hit a budget crunch. That’s put a big dent in the public’s perception of how our state is doing, which in turn has an impact on political perceptions as well.

Second, a portion of this poll was conducted during the most heated portion of the Republican gubernatorial primary when Fargo businessman Doug Burgum was saturating the public with campaign messaging critical of theĀ status quo. Clearly that messaging worked because Burgum beat his opponent Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem in a landslide.

Dalrymple, it’s worth noting, was not only theĀ status quo governor but also a backer of Stenehjem’s.

I don’t think this shift in Dalrymple’s approval means North Dakota’s ideological leanings are changing. Democrats aren’t going to start winning elections here any time soon. But I do think it illustrates a weariness with the current Republican leadership, which is what Burgum tapped into with his campaign.

Here’s a link to the polling data from MorningConsult.