America’s Most Popular Governors

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Source: Win McNamee / Getty Images

40. Gov. Scott Walker (R) of Wisconsin
> Approval rating: 42%
> Disapproval rating: 50%
> Tenure: 8 years
> Nov. 2018 state unemployment: 3.0% (10th lowest)

Republican Scott Walker served as governor of Wisconsin for eight years. Walker had a 42% approval rating going into the 2018 general election, which he lost by a slim margin to Democratic challenger Tony Evers.

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39. Gov. Jim Justice (R) of West Virginia
> Approval rating: 43%
> Disapproval rating: 43%
> Tenure: 2 years
> Nov. 2018 state unemployment: 5.2% (2nd highest)

Jim Justice, the polarizing Republican governor of West Virginia, ran for office and won as Democrat in 2016. About half a year into his first term, Justice re-registered as a Republican. Justice is up for re-election in 2020.

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38. Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) of Iowa
> Approval rating: 43%
> Disapproval rating: 38%
> Tenure: 2 years
> Nov. 2018 state unemployment: 2.4% (the lowest)

Republican Kim Reynolds served as the lieutenant governor of Iowa for about six years before taking the top job in May 2017, when former Gov. Terry Branstad took an ambassadorship in the Trump administration. Reynolds ran for governor in 2018 and defeated Democratic challenger Fred Hubbell.

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37. Gov. Mike Parson (R) of Missouri
> Approval rating: 43%
> Disapproval rating: 17%
> Tenure: > 1 year
> Nov. 2018 state unemployment: 3.0% (10th lowest)

Elected as lieutenant governor in 2016, Mike Parson took the top job after former Gov. Eric Greitens resigned in mid-2018 amid sexual misconduct allegations and investigations into misuse of voter data. Parson has a 43% approval rating but a sizable 41% of Missouri voters do not have a strong opinion about him yet.

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36. Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) of Rhode Island
> Approval rating: 44%
> Disapproval rating: 47%
> Tenure: 4 years
> Nov. 2018 state unemployment: 3.8% (23rd highest)

After defeating Republican challenger Allan Fung in the November 2018 election, Gov. Gina Raimondo will be sworn in to a second term in January 2019. Raimondo won by a 15.3 margin despite a high disapproval rating.