There are fewer organizations gauging how citizens feel about their governors. Political experts say it’s a problem.
While reporting on next year’s governors’ races and writing the gubernatorial chapters for the Almanac of American Politics 2018, I often struggled to find polling data. Whenever I looked for an approval rating for a particular governor, it seemed like I would come up with only one option: the periodic 50-state surveys by Morning Consult, a survey research and media company.
It led me to wonder: Have newspapers and other pollsters cut back on approval-rating polls? I don’t have any hard data to answer that question, but it appears to be the case, judging by the observations of nearly a dozen political experts I spoke with.
“Yes, this is a real and problematic trend,” says Keith Gaddie, a University of Oklahoma political scientist.
“We are seeing this pattern in Texas,” says Mark P. Jones, a political scientist at Rice University. “Texas’ mainstream media outlets have for all intents and purposes ceased doing polls of any type, except maybe one or two during the election year.”