Gov. Mary Fallin’s unpopularity in Oklahoma calcified into empirical fact long ago but was further solidified by Fallin’s handling of state budget woes and her “let them eat chalk” attitude during the teacher walkout in April. By the time she declined to call a special session of the state Legislature after passage of State Question 788 and kicked the dime bag down the road to her appointed board at the state health department, which then proceeded to run roughshod over the will of the people, her statewide popularity hovered somewhere between Kevin Durant and cholera.
With Oklahoma’s lamest of lame ducks ready to hobble out of the Governor’s Mansion in a few months, it was looking like a fairly ignoble exit. Then Morning Consult published its poll of “America’s Most and Least Popular Governors,” which Fallin handily topped with a toxic 74 percent disapproval rating. It was like someone had frosted her going-away cake with Desitin.
Fallin displaced the previous “winner,” Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy, a Democrat who responded to a $1 billion deficit in 2016 by going “full Sam Brownback” and following Kansas’ lead toward fiscal austerity and cutting social programs. Fallin beat Malloy by combining irresponsible austerity and total disregard for people who aren’t majority owners of energy companies. She also managed to beat Maine Gov. Paul LePage, who likes to tell stories about promiscuous drug dealers named D-Money and Shifty impregnating formerly chaste fishermen’s daughters, and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who met with accused Russian spy Mariia Butina.
We at Chicken-Fried News know this must be tough for Fallin, who probably wanted to go out on a high note. So let’s put it this way, governor: You’re No. 1!