A new poll released yesterday shows Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ popularity declining in Arkansas since she took office last year. Worse still, at least from an optics standpoint, the new poll is from Morning Consult, whose previous polls Sanders & Co. have cited as proof Sanders is not becoming less popular with each passing quarter.

While Sanders’ unfavorability among Democrats predictably ticked upward, the poll found Sanders’ net popularity dipping across the board, regardless of party affiliation. Her net favorability dropped seven points (88% to 81%) among Republicans, and she had a nine-point decline (50% to 41%) among Independents and a five-point decline (61% to 56%) among all voters, according to the poll.


“Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders has seen the largest decline in popularity among the nine governors elected in 2022,” according to a separate report from Morning Consult specifically about Sanders’ poll numbers. “Some increase in disapproval is natural for new governors as more voters in their states become aware of them,” the report says, “but Sanders is alone among those newly elected in 2022 in actually losing support as more voters express opinions.”

The poll results also show Sanders’ popularity in decline relative to other governors, both new and old. Sanders is rated the 21st most popular governor in the United States, down from 18th in fourth-quarter 2023 polling and 14th in 2023 third-quarter results.


On the other hand, Sanders’ relative unpopularity compared to other governors increased. While she was 32nd on the list of most unpopular governors in October and 28th in January, Sanders shot up to 22nd in the most recent results.

In late October, the annual Arkansas Poll was released, and it said Sanders’ approval rating was the lowest for any Arkansas governor in twenty years.


The next day, Sanders’ spokeswoman, Alexa Henning, tweeted the results of Morning Consult’s third-quarter gubernatorial popularity poll, bragging about Sanders’ “60% approval overall” and proclaiming Sanders the “12th most popular Governor in the country.”

Worth noting, Henning was not honest about the poll results and felt the need to embellish. Sanders was 15th, not 12th, and her popularity was 59%, not 60%.


In January, Henning again touted Morning Consult numbers on Twitter. This time, it was the company’s fourth-quarter approval poll.

Despite pivoting to “most popular GOP governors” here, rather than just most popular governors regardless of party, Henning was still dishonest about the results. Among GOP governors in the fourth-quarter poll, Sanders was 11th, not 10th.


So far, Henning has been silent on social media about yesterday’s numbers.

One of the criticism of Morning Consult polling data is that they are a bit too rosy in their evaluation of governors’ popularity.


“Across each quarter of 2023,” ABC News said last week, “we found that the net gubernatorial approval ratings in Morning Consult’s surveys exceeded non-Morning Consult polls by an average of 7 percentage points.”

With Sanders’ current approval numbers in yesterday’s Morning Consult poll looking more like the numbers in the Arkansas Poll last summer, however, it may be a while before Henning uses them again as proof of Sanders’ popularity.

The full report and accompanying analysis are behind a paywall, as are the earlier polls. The results were based on Morning Consult’s representative-sample polling of roughly 2,000 Arkansas from January through March.