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Lujan Grisham has tepid approval rating in poll

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham testified before a congressional subcommittee this month about oil and gas leases near Chaco Culture National Historic Park. (Eddie Moore/Journal)

SANTA FE — After decisively winning election last year, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s honeymoon with New Mexico voters might be wearing off.

The first-term Democratic governor’s approval rating of 41 percent came in toward the bottom of the pack, according to a national Morning Consult poll released Thursday that tallied the popularity of all 50 governors.

However, it was in the same neighborhood as the approval ratings for several other governors who took office this year, indicating that voters might still be forming their opinions.

Roughly 33 percent of state voters surveyed Jan. 1 through March 31 disapproved of the job Lujan Grisham was doing, while the remaining voters were undecided or did not have an opinion.

Lujan Grisham succeeded in winning approval of high-profile initiatives during this year’s 60-day legislative session — including bills setting future renewable energy standards and expanding background check requirements for gun purchases — but rankled some rural New Mexicans in the process.

Former Gov. Susana Martinez, a Republican, ranked among the nation’s 10 least popular governors before leaving office at the end of last year. But her approval rating had been much higher during her first years as governor after being elected in 2010.

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, a Republican, was the least popular governor in the nation, with a 52 percent disapproval rating, the poll released Thursday found. GOP Gov. Charlie Baker of Massachusetts retained the honor of having the highest approval rating of any governor, with 73 percent.

Meanwhile, New Mexico’s two U.S. senators — Democrats Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich — both had approval ratings of 39 percent, the survey found.

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