Gov. Susana Martinez continues to see her approval ratings slide, according to data published Thursday by a national polling firm that ranks her as the fifth least-popular governor in the country.
Fifty-seven percent of registered New Mexico voters surveyed from October through December disapprove of the two-term Republican’s job performance, up from 52 percent the previous quarter. Meanwhile, only 33 percent of those surveyed said they approve of the governor’s performance, down from 37 percent in the previous three months.
The Morning Consult poll has a 3 percent margin of error and is based on surveys of more than a quarter million registered voters around the country.
Martinez ranked as the sixth least-popular governor in the country during the previous quarter.
The slide might seem predictable for a governor reaching the end of her time in office, especially with rising crime rates and an economy that has struggled in the past several years.
But some peers, such as Republicans Brian Sandoval of Nevada and Matt Mead of Wyoming, have been in office just as long and are still riding approvals ratings around 60 percent.
It also does not seem to be a matter of party. The two most popular governors, according to Morning Consult, are Republicans governing decidedly blue states — Charlie Baker of Massachusetts and Larry Hoganof Maryland.
The conservative magazine National Review took note of the ratings, remarking that none of the most popular governors are “‘celebrity’ governors or well-known outside their states.”
“They’re workhorses, not show horses, who are focusing on … well, governing,” the magazine’s Jim Geraghty wrote. “What a concept!”
The numbers come amid the governor’s last regular legislative session. And for the most part, she has struck a somewhat conciliatory tone with Democrats after standoffs in recent years over the budget as well as crime legislation.
The numbers also come as the governor’s next steps remain something of a mystery.
Morning Consult noted most of the governors running for re-election this year have approval ratings over 50 percent.
Martinez cannot run for another term this year — but in recent months a group founded by her political allies has produced radio ads praising her efforts to strengthen New Mexico’s economy and asking people to call her office to tell her to “keep fighting.”
Still, she has not announced a run for another office at this point. And with these approval ratings, any campaign would be mostly uphill.
Last month, she dismissed questions from reporters about whether she might run be interested in running for the U.S. Senate, assuming a federal judgeship or taking on a leadership role at one of the state’s public universities.
“My last day, I will not have a plan but to leave this office and figure it out from there,” she told reporters.
Meanwhile, New Mexico’s two Democratic U.S. senators saw their approval ratings improve or at least remain flat over the past few months.
Morning Consult released data last week showing Sen. Martin Heinrich with an approval rating of about 46 percent as he heads into a re-election campaign. That is the same as the previous quarter but his disapproval rating dropped slightly, from 31 percent to 29 percent.
New Mexico’s senior senator, Tom Udall, saw his approval rating rise from 46 percent to 49 percent and his disapproval rating drop by a couple points, too. His term does not end until 2020.
The approval and disapproval ratings for both men are in line with the ratings for the average senator.
According to Morning Consult, Sen. Bernie Sanders, independent of Vermont, is most popular while Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, is least popular.
This BBSNews article originally appeared on NMPolitics.net.