WICHITA, Kansas – The annual Kansas Speaks survey, conducted by the Docking Institute at Fort Hays University, found that Governor Sam Brownback’s approval rating was at an all-time low with just 18 percent.
The numbers were not promising for the governor. The Docking Institute’s survey consisted of 638 Kansans. Among those 38 percent of people considered themselves “strong Republicans”. The survey found they are very or somewhat satisfied with Brownback’s performance. That compares to 73 percent satisfied in his first year as Governor, and analysts say the economy is a big reason why.
“It’s been a steady decline in satisfaction with the job he’s doing. It’s not surprising,” explained KSN Political Analyst, Jeff Jarman.
Jarman says the docking institute’s survey points to something that is uncommon.
“Eighteen percent support is a very low number for a governor who was just reelected. You would expect he would have much higher numbers, but it appears that the public is just not satisfied with the direction of the state,” Jarman stated.
Dr. Chapman Rackaway teaches political science at Fort Hays State University and worked on the survey. He says the state of the economy is a factor in Kansans’ opinions.
“Governor Brownback predicated his ideas on taxes in order to bring population back to Kansas. It hasn’t been a successful as he wants it so there’s a combination of things that were outside the governor’s control and somethings that he has contributed to that when you take them together put us in the state that we’re in,” Rockaway said.
Jarman says it comes down to the policies that got Brownback elected and whether or not Kansans see them as working.
“He was reelected, so people wanted these policies to succeed. The harsh reality on the ground is that the economy is not improving,” voiced Jarman.
The survey suggests that a turnaround in the economy, and more jobs, would mean a major change in Brownback’s approval rating.
“He could certainly rebound those number and he could rebound them quickly,” Rockaway stated.
KSN reached out to the governor’s office for a response to this survey. His press secretary released the following statement:
“Less than one year ago, there was an election and the people of Kansas chose between two candidates. One candidate had a strong record of lowering taxes, opposing Obamacare, supporting traditional marriage, life, and the 2nd Amendment. Kansas voters chose to re-elect that candidate, Governor Sam Brownback, to statewide office for the fifth consecutive time. Polls don’t accurately reflect the views of Kansans, elections do.”