Among the 41 states in which polling is available, Governor Jack Dalrymple ranks as the 4th most popular governor according to data compiled by the New York Times’ Nate Silver.
The full ranking is below.
Dalrymple has a composite 68% approval rating, and 24% disapproval, aggregated from two separate polls. His high approval numbers illustrate a continuation of sky-high approval numbers from Governor-turned-Senator John Hoeven’s term in office. Hoeven routinely put up approval numbers that were around the 70% mark.
What’s interesting is that Dalrymple’s high-approval numbers come even after he signed some very controversial pro-life bills into law (which may be why opponents of those bills don’t want them referred to the ballot, hoping to defeat them in the courts instead).
But mostly the high-marks probably have a lot to do with North Dakotans being pretty fat and happy right now. The state’s economy is strong. We have more job openings than people able to fill them. Personal incomes are growing. Communities are growing. For the first time in a long time, the state’s population is growing.
We can debate about who gets the credit for the oil boom – I tend to think that leaders like Dalrymple spend a lot of time taking credit for the oil in the ground and the market conditions which make it profitable to pump it – but as a practical political matter, credit accrues to those in credit when the good times happen.
And to be fair, there is something to be said for Republican leadership that hasn’t roadblocked the oil and gas development in the state which have made the good times possible.