Sanders' approval rating lowest of any governor since her father, Arkansas Poll shows

Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders speaks at the state Capitol in Little Rock in this Sept. 8, 2023 file photo. Sanders sent a memo to her 15 cabinet secretaries this week with instructions for program suspensions and employee furloughs in the event of a federal government shutdown. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Thomas Metthe)
Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders speaks at the state Capitol in Little Rock in this Sept. 8, 2023 file photo. Sanders sent a memo to her 15 cabinet secretaries this week with instructions for program suspensions and employee furloughs in the event of a federal government shutdown. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Thomas Metthe)

Forty-eight percent of Arkansans approve of the way Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders is handling her job, while 39% disapprove, according to results of the Arkansas Poll released Monday.

The other 13% either don’t know or refused to say in the poll.

The first-year Republican governor’s approval rating of 48% in the Arkansas Poll is the lowest of any Arkansas governor since her father, former Republican Gov. Mike Huckabee, recorded a 47% approval rating in 2003, according to the poll’s results. Sanders’ disapproval rating of 39% is the highest of any governor in the poll during the past 25 years. The next highest disapproval rating was posted by Mike Huckabee in 2003, 38%.

Although Sanders’ approval rating of 48% was the lowest for an Arkansas governor in the past 20 years, it compared favorably to the approval ratings for Republican Sen. Tom Cotton (42%), Republican Sen. John Boozman (40%) and Democratic President Joe Biden (33%), the Arkansas Poll said in a news release.

Sanders spokeswoman Alexa Henning said Monday in a written statement, "Governor Sanders is proud of the bold, conservative policies she and the legislature promised and have signed into law in the past 10 months."

"Under her leadership, Arkansans have more money in their bank accounts, families have choice in their education, more Arkansans are working, and businesses are flooding to the Natural State," she added. "Arkansans are feeling more optimistic due to the governor’s leadership and that’s reflected in the six-point increase in those that feel the state is headed in the right direction."

The Arkansas Poll is sponsored by the Diane D. Blair Center of Southern Politics and Society at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. The poll was conducted through 801 telephone — cell and landline — interviews with randomly selected adult Arkansans between Oct. 4 and Oct. 22. It has a margin of error of plus- or minus-3.5 percent.

In 2007, 70% of Arkansans approved of the way first-year Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe handled his job compared to 9% who disapproved and 21% who don’t know or refused to say in the Arkansas Poll.

In 2015, 57% of Arkansans approved of the way first-year Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson handled his job compared to 18% who disapproved and 25% who didn’t know or refused to say in the Arkansas Poll.

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