Poll finds Lujan Grisham among most unpopular governors with 43% disapproval rating

Michelle Lujan Grisham

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s disapproval rating increased in the second quarter of the year, making her the sixth most unpopular governor in the country, according to a survey released Thursday by research firm Morning Consult.

Forty-four percent of New Mexico voters surveyed approved of the Democratic governor’s job performance while 43 percent disapproved, according to the survey. In the first quarter, 41 percent approved while only 33 percent disapproved.

That’s a net approval rating of 1 percentage point for the April through June period, down from 8 percentage points for the January through March period.

The governor’s higher disapproval rating may be due to her positions on hot-button issues such as gun control and abortion, which were strongly opposed by conservatives during the legislative session, longtime New Mexico pollster Brian Sanderoff said.

“While the governor accomplished a lot during the legislative session, many conservatives may not have been as enamored with the outcome,” Sanderoff said. “That could explain some of the decline in the rating.”

Sanderoff noted he was speculating that rural and conservative parts of New Mexico likely accounted for the higher disapproval ratings, given that Morning Consult did not provide geographic breakdowns for its governor rankings.

Lujan Grisham signed into law many of the bills she had pushed for during this year’s legislative session, from hundreds of millions of dollars in additional funding for public schools to an increase in the minimum wage.

But she also backed several gun control measures as well as an effort to repeal an old ban on abortion, jumping into two controversial issues at the same time Democrats in the Legislature debated a series of tax increases.

More than 20 county commissions around the state passed so-called Second Amendment sanctuary resolutions in opposition to a law, signed by the governor in March, that requires a gun buyer to undergo a background check when purchasing a firearm from another person, unless the exchange is between close relatives.

Morning Consult noted the 15 most popular governors in the second quarter were Republicans, while eight of the 10 most unpopular were Democrats.

Morning Consult’s survey in New Mexico had a margin of error of 2 percent and polled 2,453 voters.


Jens Erik Gould covers politics for the Santa Fe New Mexican. He was a correspondent for Bloomberg News in Mexico City, a regular contributor for TIME in California, and produced the video series Bravery Tapes.