Poll: Approval of Governor Doug Burgum Has Fallen 12 Points During First Year in Office

Gov. Doug Burgum stands behind a teleprompter and in front of a video screen during his State of the State address Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018, in Minot. Media production accounted for a good share of the cost of putting on the event. Kim Fundingsland / Minot Daily News

Governor Doug Burgum put a period at the end of the sentence of his first year in office by delivering a (special interest sponsored) State of the State address on the Minot State University campus.

But according to Morning consult, which polls the popularity of governors on a quarterly interval, during that first year Burgum’s approval among North Dakotans has fallen.

He still has strong numbers – the most recent poll for the 4th quarter of 2017 shows Burgum at 57 percent approval and 22% disapproval, good to as the 13th most popular governor in the country – but his trend in the poll probably isn’t one he’s satisfied with.

This chart shows that trend over the course of Burgum’s first year. Here are the Q1, Q2, and Q3 results which had Burgum ranked as the 3rd, 4th, and 5th most popular governor in America, respectively:

So what’s going on here?

It might be the poll. Morning Consult has also shown declines in approval for Senators John Hoeven and Heidi Heitkamp as well.

Or maybe there’s a faction of North Dakota’s electorate which is just kind of fed up with politicians in general? That seems like a common theme these days at all levels of government.

For Burgum specifically, it could also be a product of the natural transition from a candidate making campaign promises to an elected leader charged with actually governing. That’s a reality check for any leader. There are always going to be some voters who were enamored with the candidate but somewhat disappointed with how that candidate goes about the duties of office.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and the host of the Rob (Re)Port on Fargo-based WDAY AM970 from noon-2pm weekdays.

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