Alabama Governor’s popularity surges

Gov. Kay Ivey became governor April 10. After six months in office, a poll placed Gov. Ivey as the fourth most popular governor in the U.S.

After only six months in office, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey is ranked the 4th most popular governor in the U.S., according to a poll Morning Consult released Oct. 31.

Her accomplishments include the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act, which prohibits the removal of historical monuments, and the Definition of Moral Turpitude Act, which restored voting rights to many non-violent felons in Alabama.

Senior Lynda Hilliker is not sure of the results.

“Well I’m not from Alabama, and I don’t know who she is,” she said. “If she is popular, she must be doing something right, but I personally can’t see what would make her the 4th most popular (governor) in the U.S,” she said.

Ivey assumed the position following the resignation of ex-governor Robert Bentley. Bentley resigned and pled guilty to two misdemeanors earlier this year amidst allegations of sexual misconduct involving his former adviser.

The Morning Consult conducted a similar poll in May 2016, just as the Bentley scandal became public, which placed Bentley’s approval rating at 46 percent, one of the worst ratings in the U.S. at the time.

In a recent statement, Ivey highlighted the values that led to her ranking.

“Alabama is strong and united again,” she said. “Our state has faith in its leaders again because there’s more accountability, more transparency and more job opportunities.”

This ranking comes just a few days after Gov. Ivey announced Alabama’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for September had dropped to just 3.8 percent. Alabama’s unemployment rate has not been that low since April 2007, and that figure matches the lowest unemployment rate in Alabama’s recorded history.

Senior Viktoria Piepke has not seen the change.

“I haven’t really noticed a change in Alabama at all since she has taken office,” she said. “(The ranking) makes me wonder how crappy the rest of (America’s governors) must be.”

The Morning Consult’s Governor Approval Ranking survey polled 255,120 registered voters from July 1 to Sept. 30. The poll set Ivey’s current approval rating at 62 percent.

Ivey’s disapproval rating currently sits at 12 percent, according to the poll. Ivey maintains the lowest disapproval rating of all the governors listed in the survey.

Senior Ruby Alcala approves of the poll’s rankings.

“Governor Ivey seems to be making big moves in office,” Alcala said. “I imagine a woman in office always has to try twice as hard. I believe her approval rating is mostly due to the momentum she has taken to strengthen the state, such as keeping lobbyists off of state boards.”

Ivey is the second of two female governors in Alabama’s history. The other was Lurleen Wallace, wife of former governor George Wallace, who died in office after one year of service.

Ivey announced in early September she would be running for a full term as Alabama’s governor in 2018. Ivey plans to join the race as a Republican and will face competition from many prominent Republican figures involved in Alabama politics, such as Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle and State Sen. Bill Hightower.