Poll: Janet Mills is seventh most unpopular Governor in America

Governor Janet Mills signs legislation before a group of state legislators.

WASHINGTON D.C. – According to Morning Consult, Maine Governor Janet Mills is the seventh most unpopular Governor in America. Mills is ranked as slightly more popular than Gov. Jim Justice of West Virginia and slightly less popular than embattled Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker.

The quarterly poll, conducted across all fifty states, tracks each Governor’s approval and disapproval rating.

Governor Janet Mills was a +20 at the start of her term, according to Morning Consult. In January, Mills approval was 50% and her disapproval was 30%.

In the most recent poll, Mills has seen a decline of 18 percentage points in her approve/disapprove and now sits at a +2, with 46% approving and 44% disapproving.

Democrats give Mills strong approval with a +64 approve/disapprove.

Republicans strongly disapprove, giving Mills a -50 approve/disapprove.

Independents narrowly disapprove of Mills, at a -2 approve/disapprove.

Four of the six state governors ranked as more unpopular than Mills are Democrats, two are Republicans.

It’s likely that several of the unpopular and controversial moves Mills made in the Maine Legislature’s first session are taking a toll on Mills.

With control of the Maine Legislature and a willing ally in Speaker Sara Gideon, Democrats aggressively raised state spending, wiping out the state’s surplus revenue, instead of pursuing a reduction in Maine’s relatively high income tax.

Mills and Democrats also rammed through a number of controversial issues, such as a bill to force ranked-choice voting into Maine’s Presidential elections; another to eliminate the religious exemption in Maine’s vaccine law and several abortion bills, including taxpayer funding of abortions and allowing abortions to be performed by some medical professionals without a doctor present.

Mills also supported a physician assisted suicide bill and several other bills long sought by liberal Democrats in Augusta.

Legislative Republicans are now saying that the rumor circulating among lawmakers is that there will need to be a supplemental budget in the coming legislative session to account for Mills’ overspending in the state budget. They say that because Mills and Democrats insisted on spending almost every penny the state projected to receive, there is no room for error and recent revenue reports have come in under projections.

Mills has also taken unilateral actions that have proven controversial.

At the end of the most recent legislative session, Mills refused to sign a bill to provide more funding to Maine’s nursing homes, claiming a flaw in the bill was problematic. Legislative Republicans called Mills out for that, saying her staff was responsible for the language they had passed. Mills then refused to allow lawmakers to recall the bill, in what some called unprecedented defiance from the Governor’s office.

When the city of Portland faced financial trouble due to an influx of migrants overwhelming the city’s local program to provide welfare for illegal immigrants, Mills unilaterally approved nearly $200,000 in housing funds and then made an “emergency” rule change to reimburse the city for 70% of the costs of their program.

Many Mainers felt Mayor Ethan Strimling triggered the Portland crisis by engaging in a high-profile political dispute with President Donald Trump, telling the President to “bring them [illegal immigrants] on” during one of the worst periods of the southern border crisis.

Mills also has angered many residents of all parties in western and rural Maine with her strident support of the CMP power corridor. That issue has sparked controversy even in Mills’ hometown, where she appealed to residents in-person for a vote of approval at the Farmington town meeting. Mills lost that vote 262-102.

While some environmentalists have opposed the CMP corridor, they have cheered other actions by Mills’ that Mainers more concerned about their family budgets deeply oppose.

Earlier this year, Mills announced that she would provide $2.55 million through Efficiency Maine to help Mainers buy new electric vehicles. That spending decision was widely derided by rural Mainers who lack access to charging stations and live in locations that make travel with electric vehicles nearly impossible. Mills’ refusal to increase spending on road repairs in the state budget while providing rebates on electric cars also rankled many Mainers.

Not content to rest on her laurels with the environmental set, Mills then pursued and succeeded in creating a massive new quarter million dollar 39-person “climate council” dedicated to crafting policies around climate change.

Despite their admitted lack of a “carbon budget” to determine where Maine stands relative to our total carbon dioxide emissions versus the CO2 we sequester with our massive forests and farms, Mills’ climate council is working to craft a package of proposals.

Mills may not yet have rendered her most controversial decision of the year, however. Numerous reports indicate she is working on a regional agreement to enter Maine into a California style “cap-and-trade” agreement which could raise gasoline prices across the state with imposition of a new fee.

An attempt to impose a carbon tax of about 40 cents per gallon on heating oil and gasoline was defeated earlier this year in the Maine Legislature, despite support from many allies of Governor Mills, including Speaker Sara Gideon.

While Governor Janet Mills is not up for re-election until 2022, every seat in the Maine Legislature is up for grabs in 2020. The controversial decisions and actions Governor Mills has taken are likely to be hot topics on the campaign trail, even as a Presidential election and one of the top U.S. Senate races in the nation dominate the airwaves.

Read more on the issues cited in this article:

Maine’s surplus revenue equals over $850 per middle class family, but Janet Mills has made promises to spend it

Mills’ budget already in the red, setting up property tax hike says State Senator

Rep. John Deveau: More extreme laws & tax increases coming in Maine, your voice is needed to stop them

Gov. Mills’ staff wrote nursing home language she’s citing as reason to stop funding bill

In unprecedented defiance of lawmakers, Mills refuses to hand over nursing home funding bill

Maine State Housing Authority seeking options for housing asylum seekers

Janet Mills sparks firestorm by allowing welfare for non-citizens, LePage blasts decision

Strimling calls for more illegal immigrants to Portland in response to President Trump’s tweets

Janet Mills’ hometown votes to oppose $1 billion CMP project she backs

Mills: Maine will spend $2.55 million helping 900 people buy electric cars

Maine may already be ‘carbon neutral’ but nobody knows, despite Gov. Janet Mills’ policy push

Janet Mills’ first “Climate Council” meeting criticized for lack of concern about workers and jobs

Gov. Mills working on deal that will raise gas prices, Mainers need to speak out, says group

Maine would see 40 cent per gallon increase in gas & heating oil with carbon tax

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