South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds (R) took the biggest hit in the nation -- losing 14 percent -- after signing a law to ban abortions in the state, in direct contradiction to Roe v. Wade. That said, his approval rating is still at 58 percent.
Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano (D) fell 9 points as she and Republicans sparred over how many National Guard troops to send to the Mexican border to deal with illegal immigration. She, too, earned approval among 58 percent of those polled.
Other govs with noticeable drops are:
- Sonny Perdue (R) of Georgia, down 8 points to 52 percent
- Brad Henry (D) of Oklahoma, down 8 points to 66 percent
- Robert Ehrlich (R) of Maryland, down 7 points to 48 percent
- Jodi Rell (R) of Connecticut, down 6 points but still riding high at 75 percent
- John Lynch (D) of New Hamsphire, down 6 points to 64 percent
Both of last month's two most popular governors -- Rell and Joe Manchin (D) of West Virginia -- had fall-offs this month. Manchin lost 5 points. But then again, it's pretty tough keeping approval ratings up near 80 percent.
And, yes, there's good news too.
Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack (D) leads the pack with most improved ratings. He added 7 points and is now liked by 59 percent of responders. Vilsack was in the throes of a legislative session when the poll was out, pushing for more money for education and promoting his economic development program. But the poll was taken before he signed a law outlawing the video gambling machines the state lottery had rolled out.
In Mississippi, Gov. Haley Barbour (R) went up 6 points to 54 percent approval. He's received a lot of credit for the Katrina aid package recently passed by Congress, in which Mississippi fared well.
Dirk Kempthorne, the Idaho Republican recently tapped as President Bush's nominee to head the Interior Department, also added 6 points, to arrive at 62 percent approval. The poll was taken before the announcement of his possible promotion.
Other govs with health doses of good news (all going up 5 points):
- Mark Sanford (R) of South Carolina, up to 52 percent
- Michael Easley (D) of North Carolina, up to 55 percent
- Jon Corzine (D) of New Jersey, up to 51 percent