Governor Dan McKee’s approval rating of how he’s handling the COVID-19 pandemic is slowly ticking up, but he still trails behind most New England governors, according to a new poll from the COVID-19 Consortium for Understanding the Public’s Policy Preferences Across States.
The survey of 421 Rhode Islanders pegs McKee’s approval rating at 44.4 percent, just ahead of Maine Governor Janet Mills (43.3 percent), but behind the rest of the governors in the region. Vermont Governor Phil Scott leads the way at 59.7 percent.
Here’s a list of each New England executive:
Vermont Governor Phil Scott (R): 59.7 percent
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker (R): 53.6 percent
Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont (D): 51.5 percent
New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu (R): 46.3 percent
Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee (D): 44.4 percent
Maine Governor Janet Mills (D): 43.3 percent
The consortium includes researchers from Harvard, Northeastern, Rutgers, and Northwestern, and has conducted 19 50-state surveys during the pandemic.
The approval rating question specifically asks about the handling of the pandemic, although the results have generally been in line with McKee’s overall approval rating in other polls. His approval peaked in June 2021 at 59.6 percent, and former governor Gina Raimondo registered in the 70 percent range at three different points during the early months of the pandemic.
The national average approval rating for governors has fallen consistently since it hit 63.7 percent in April 2020 – the consortium’s first poll. The most recent survey pegged the national average at 39.9 percent.
The most recent survey was conducted online between Aug. 11 and Sept. 7.
This story first appeared in Rhode Map, our free newsletter about Rhode Island that also contains information about local events, data about the coronavirus in the state, and more. If you’d like to receive it via e-mail Monday through Friday, you can sign up here.