Bill Walker approvals down — only seven governors less popular

Photo of Governor Bill Walker at a podium
Gov. Bill Walker in January, 2017. (James Brooks photo)

Are the stars misaligning for Gov. Bill Walker of Alaska? In just one year his approval rating among voters has dropped from 50 percent to 42 percent.

In the same period, his disapproval rating has risen from 41 percent to 48 percent, according to a major poll released today.

As the first gubernatorial candidates are beginning to file letters of intent, politicos are watching to see if Walker’s fortunes are fading enough for his Democrat base to abandon him and slide a candidate onto the D-ticket. In 2014 the Alaska Democratic Party vacated their gubernatorial candidate and supported Walker as their only path to victory.

A recent straw poll in Eagle River, not scientific but a “sense of the court,” placed Walker sixth, behind Sen. Mike Dunleavy, a Republican who has announced his candidacy. He even placed lower than U.S. Sen. Democrat Mark Begich in this solidly Republican corner of the state.

In 2014, Walker won election with the endorsement and financial support of the Alaska Democrats, winning with 48 percent of the vote.

Morning Consult surveyed 195,704 registered U.S. voters from April 1 through July 10 to determine the latest Governor Approval Rankings.

Gov. Walker, who has left the political party system that hasn’t worked for him,  came out in the bottom fifth of all governors.

Only seven others ranked lower than Alaska’s no-party governor.

Cutting the Permanent Fund dividend, his obsession with building a gasline, and lack of leadership were the reasons people have cited in more scientific polling done recently, results of which have not been widely shared.

At the bottom of the popularity pack was N.J. Gov. Chris Christie, followed by Sam Brownback of Kansas:

Chart of least popular governors.

In the survey, voters were asked it they approve or disapprove of the job performance of President Donald Trump, their state’s governor, both of their U.S. senators, their U.S. House representative and their mayor (if they live in a city with more than about 10,000 residents).

For each question, they could answer strongly approve, somewhat approve, somewhat disapprove, strongly disapprove, or don’t know / no opinion.

The highest approval ratings were as follows:

Chart of most popular governors


  1. Walker’s “unity party” is a failed experiment. Should he choose to run for a second term, something he said on several occasions during his campaign, that he wouldn’t do, he will be handed his hat by the voters. You just cannot unilaterally take away $1,000 from all Alaskans, as Walker did last year and expect people will forget about it. Nor can you advocate for an income tax while at the same time not proposing meaningful cuts in State spending. Nor can you continue to promote and spend the public money on a gas pipeline that has zero chance of being built in the foreseeable future.
    Walker started real bad, making most legislators angry and is disliked by most all of them today. He might even break Murkowski’s infamous record of finishing worse than third place in his own primary. And as an incumbent! Dunleavy or Huggins would be a breath of fresh air and either would make great governors.

  2. Who is this 42% that approve of Gov. Walker taking (stealing) their PDf checks from them and their families and the other 58% of Alaskans. I think this number of 42% approval rate for Walker is way to high. I ask people every day while I am out and about at the stores and parks what they think about Walker and the Legislature taking half and more of their PFD check. 100% are angry about this and this is across party lines. I predict that if this PFD raid goes down a lot of Legislatures along with Walker will be out of office this coming Election.

  3. Thank you for sharing this information. It’s not only useful to know where the people stand on these issues, it’s also helpful to see who is being successful.

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