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Fix Poll: The most overrated Governor in the country

Last week, Fixistas voted Delaware Gov. Jack Markell (D) as the most underrated chief executive in the country.

Today in our Fix poll we tackle the other side of that equation: the most overrated governor.

Below we've offered six choices of governors who regularly are mentioned as more showhorse than workhorse. Have a suggestion not in our poll? Offer it in the comments section below.

By Chris Cillizza  |  October 27, 2009; 11:00 AM ET
Categories:  Fix Poll  
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How is it that Tim Pawlenty is not on this list?

Posted by: jbentley4 | October 28, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

I would vote for Charlie Crist for this prize of the candidates available. I think, from what I have heard & saw, Daniels, Perry & Rendell have been pretty good governors. Schweitzer seems well liked in Montana, and he's been there for 5 years now, so I'd think he's doing something right. I really know nothing about O'Malley. I know he's from Maryland, but don't know much about him. Charlie Crist, from what I have read, has not been a good governor at all. Supporting the stimulus plan, wrecking the P&C system in Florida and now caving on conservative issues like coming out against Sotomayor and such due to the Rubio primary. He obviously has Presidential hopes. I personally hope he's defeated in the Republican primary in 2010 by Rubio. I know that's a real long shot, but if Jeb Bush publicly endorses Rubio over Crist and lends Rubio his fundraising connections it will help, alot. It will also go a long way for Rubio on name recognition. Rubio & Crist both lead Meeks in a GE, so the electability argument should be over for Crist. It looks like he will have to run on his record, which may well leave Rubio as the next US Senator of Florida! Charlie Crist is the most over-rated governor on this my opinion.

Posted by: reason5 | October 28, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

I suspect that if more than a mere million people (few of whom read The Fix) lived in Montana, Schwitzer would get more votes. He gives a good speech, but provides no leadership.

During the three legislative sessions that have occurred on his watch, his normal practice when asked about a bill is to say, "I will see and decide when it gets to my desk."

Posted by: MTModerate | October 28, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

I do think Perry is the WORST governor on this list, but that isnt the poll. Does anybody think Perry is a GOOD governor? People love Crist, Jindal, Pawlenty and Daniels. Daniels obliterated Jill Long Thompson (D) in a year when his own state voted for a Democrat for president for the first time since 1964. A year when most republicans were being shown the door of whatever office they hold. I realize that having lived in Indiana, i know Daniels better than any of the others and am thus biased, but i certainly dont think Perry is more OVERRATED than most of the other governors on this list.

Posted by: elijah24 | October 28, 2009 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Charlie Crist was winning this ina big way. The suddenly, overnight, it seems Rick Perry has taken over.

How do you think that happened???

I'd bet that Crist campaign staffers got an email telling them to get into the poll and vote for Rick Perry just so Charlie Crist wouldn't lose another poll. After all, he's been named America's worst Governor by Forbes. He's lost 12 straw polls vs Marco Rubio in Florida. He's been censured by the Vlusia County Republican party and barely escaped other censures.

Crist is Amercia's worst Governor.

Posted by: SuckyChucky | October 28, 2009 6:35 AM | Report abuse

Def Pawlenty, if you can name anything he has actually done other than win elections with less than 50% of the vote versus 2 democrats (one masquerading as an independence party candidate) you win a prize

Posted by: oleroll | October 28, 2009 5:17 AM | Report abuse

Pawlenty wasn't included in the list for the same reason we get weekly-or-better hyperventilation about his "rising" potential.

Probably word from on hiatt .. give tpaw ink gratis.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 27, 2009 10:43 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: bsimon1 | October 27, 2009 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Why Pawlenty wasn't included in the choices baffles me. Tpaw has been to Minnesota what George W. was to the nation as a whole. He has abused his line-item veto power instead of attempting to negotiate on any rational level with the legislature. He has slashed budgets to education, healthcare and transportation just to cater to wealthy suburban elites while lower and middle income Minnesotans have suffered. His approval rating has never been above the mid 50s and in both elections he only won because a third party candidates took votes away from the DFL candidates who weren't particularly strong in their own right. He would have a hard time carrying his home state if in fact he runs for President in 2012.

Posted by: chrioas | October 27, 2009 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Goodhair's flash-to-substance ratio approaches infinity.

Posted by: MoreAndBetterPolls | October 27, 2009 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Tim Pawlenty has been both a divisive figure and a poor manager of the state's legacy. While there are several governors who have not been beneficial, I doubt that any have been as detrimental to his/her state's future.

(I voted for John Hoeven as most underrated governor, so this isn't simply a partisan rant.)

I voted for Crist, since Pawlenty wasn't a choice.

Posted by: prairiepopulist | October 27, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Here's another reason why Charlie Crist is the worst Governor in the nation....

Crist has created a financial nightmare for Floridians which will result everyone else across the nation footing the bill after Florida gets a hurricane - and you won't have a choice.

Crist chased out all the big insurers, then massively expanded the state's reinsurance Catastrophe Fund obligations and made the state of Florida the largest property insurer in the country. When the hurricane hits, Florida will be $18 billion short of what they need to pay the claims, so Crist will run to Obama who will have to bail out Florida at every other state's expense. When it happens, most of you living outside Florida won't even know you've been screwed. But, in the meantime, people in Florida can pay lower property insurance rates because we know you won't mind having your kids pay our bills along with everything else we're throwing on their shoulders. And, all of it is to help Charlie Crist become a US Senator.

That has to make Charlie Crist the absolute worst Governor in the nation.

Posted by: Artist4 | October 27, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Haley Barbour and Bobby Jindal should really be on the list. New Orleans is still in ruins and Mississippi has countless problems. I voted for Charlie Crist because these other two weren't choices. Crist has a high approval rating but I haven't heard of him implementing any real policies. And I don't think anyone ever considered Rick Perry a good governor in the first place.

Posted by: fable104 | October 27, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Haley Barbour is number one. Crist is average but he has some independence of right wing doctrine so he is unpopular with the right. My guess is Charlie will be named but Barbour and Jindal are more deserving

Posted by: Gator-ron | October 27, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Too bad Palin ducked this one. The latest from WSJ says she got a $1.25M advance on the book.

THAT's why she stepped down from her low-paying gummint job. Imagine what her poll numbers would look like if she got paid that much for "writing" a book WHILE she was governor.

Posted by: mikenmidland | October 27, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Until I moved to Illinois three weeks ago, I was a hoosier. The popularity of my former governor blows my mind. Daniels touts his "ballanced budget", which is lovely until you realize that he sold off all of our states money-making enterprizes, or at least tried to. From the toll roads to the lottery, Indiana is looking good in the black, but what happens 10 years from now. as a 2nd term governor, even if his chickens come home to roost tomorow, it is too late for hoosiers to punish him in the polls for bankrupting their state?

Posted by: elijah24 | October 27, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Tim Pawlenty, No New Taxes = No New Bridges, should be the winner. Having wrought much destruction on Minnesota, it seems his nice smile is tricking enough people into expecting a treat. Look below the surface at how he's weakened MN & might weaken the US if not seen for what he is.

Posted by: esr91 | October 27, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Charlie Crist, hands down, is the absolute worst Governor in the nation.

Read the Forbes article from yesterday. Good article, but they left out so many reasons why Crist stinks.

Floridians need to wake up. Crist is a poll watching, flaming panderer with no scruples.

Posted by: Artist4 | October 27, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Tim Pawlenty

Posted by: Minnesotan602 | October 27, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Since this is about "most overrated" and taking place in the context of this blog, I'm calling it for Pawlenty. Here at The Fix T-Paw gets better than weekly ink while nobody else anywhere thinks anything of him.

Guys who look permanently half-asleep are going to turn off a lot of voters. Having no ideas to offer isn't exactly a winner either.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 27, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Arnold absolutely. Rick Perry is the most hilarious.

Posted by: ScottinLA | October 27, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Tim Pawlenty!

Posted by: Maddenuf | October 27, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse


No Arnold?

Is this poll only for amateurs? Were the professionally overrated excluded from consideration?

None of these contenders is fit to hold the incredibly overrated Governator's jockstrap -- especially when you include the overrating by Villager media!

Posted by: TeddySanFran | October 27, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Palin ducked that one!

Posted by: nodebris | October 27, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

I think Bobby Jindal deserves this honor.

Posted by: richyoung03 | October 27, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

yellowsnow, when you plagerize, it's appropriate to provide quotes or links, like this one, from which you lifted your unoriginal and tedious screed about little girls and their pet.

Posted by: drindl | October 27, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Let Them Eat Veal
George Joyce

Immanuel Kant once observed that “he who is cruel to animals becomes hard also in his dealings with men.” I thought about Kant when I recently learned that the Obamas had graced their dog ‘Bo’ with a dog house shaped birthday cake made out of veal – that’s right, veal – the most expensive item on many a restaurant menu.

Winter is approaching and many American families find themselves struggling with severe job loss and a rather bleak vision of the normally festive holiday season. But over at the White House nothing is too good for the nation’s pampered first pet. Says Michelle:

“We had a really sweet celebration – [Bo] got a doghouse cake made out of veal stuff and he had his brother Cappy come over and we had party hats."

Marie antoinette indeed. the trappings of power are enjoyed by the banana despot.

Posted by: snowbama | October 27, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse


Glad I cast my vote for Perry before I read Reihan Salam's devastating piece on Charlie Crist in Forbes!

Still, any governor who talks about secession (one of the causes of the Civil War, I should ad)--especially when the loss of those Federal $$ would eventually cause his state to suffer does NOT belong in the Governor's Mansion.

However, the choices were given to me. In MY opinion, Rudy Giuliani is definitely the most overrated governor ever. He has always been a self-promoter of the first water--even by NY standards his overweening chutzpah (sp???) was revolting.

Joe Biden said it best when he summed Hizzhonor up by saying every sentence out of Giuliani's mouth contained a noun, a verb, and 9/11--an event whose damage he did much to increase.

Posted by: sverigegrabb | October 27, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

There is one clear answer here: Jodi Rell.

Name one thing she has accomplished as governor of the great state of Connecticut. If I gave you an hour to search, you still couldn't find anything, and the state has suffered immensely because of her lack of leadership. She did throw John Rowland under the bus though.

Her perceived personal popularity is a real mystery, though I tend to see it as indifference from noble Connecticuters and if given a real alternative she may be vulnerable.

Posted by: CTMan | October 27, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

I voted for Gov. Goodhair. I'm surprised to see Crist doing so well, though FA isn't on my radar.


Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | October 27, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

That was just too easy.

Perry will win in a hairslide. Crist would have been my second choice, though.

Though I agree with other posters that Patrick and Pawlenty should have been on the list, preferably instead of Schweitzer (who no one knows outside of Montana) and Daniels (who is actually good at his job).

Jindal, on the other hand, got some props from Obama, so despite his nebbish performances on camera he may actually be competent despite the people trying to overhype him as the future of the Republican Party.

Posted by: Gallenod | October 27, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Landslide Goodhair once again proves he has 38% of the vote in his pocket.


Posted by: mark_in_austin | October 27, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

As a resident of the great state of MN, I nominate Governor T-Paw. Otherwise known as Gov. No New Taxes -- just added fees. Never mind how many necessary state programs have been cut to pieces, T-Paw flies around the country hoping to do the same on the national level. (For non-residents, he is Gov. Tim Pawlenty.)

Posted by: jefinch | October 27, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick should be on the list. He is all hat and no cattle.

Posted by: deadbranch19 | October 27, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Yes, Governor Timmy "Absentee' Pawlenty who spends more time out of the state these days then in it.


Posted by: anokaflash | October 27, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Chris, how could you leave Bobby Jindal off this list?

Posted by: Stick2 | October 27, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

The ever grandstanding Governor of MN, the Land of 10,000 Treatment Centers and Lakes, Mr. Tim Pawlenty.

Posted by: metsainmpls | October 27, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: mark_in_austin | October 27, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Charlie Crist is certainly not an overrated governor. Regardless as to how he appears nationally, he's really governed Florida in a bipartisan manner, and has impressed many Dems. I'm not sure those qualities would translate appropriately to the Senate, where he would be voting and not governing, but as far as state politics are concerned, he deserves the positive reputation he's received.

Posted by: F4poet99 | October 27, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Jindal all the way.

Posted by: BrentwoodGuy | October 27, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

I am sure there are a lot of useless governors, here in FL we have Charlie Crist. I cannot see anything he has done to help the state but when he is in the news they always call him the "very popular governor of Florida" Why??????

Posted by: sonnysgone | October 27, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Yes, where are Jindal, Pawlenty and any other governor that is denying stimulus funding to their beleagured constitutents to bolster their phony 'conservative' status?

And where is Sarah Palin? If you include the Quitter-in-Chief, there isn't even a contest.

Posted by: drindl | October 27, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Surely there were better choices for overrated than Daniels and O'Malley. How about Pawlenty, in addition to AndyR3's nomination of Jindal?

Posted by: mnteng | October 27, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

My vote is for Bobby Jindal. New Orleans is still in shambles and he is off giving bad speaches in Iowa.

Posted by: AndyR3 | October 27, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

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