The polling firm Morning Consult has determined that the most unpopular governor in the country is none other than Kate Brown. Given Brown's lax attitude toward crime and public safety in Portland, it isn’t hard to see why.
Brown’s approval rating is underwater by 13 points, with 54% of Oregon residents disapproving of her performance. She is the only governor given a failing grade by more than half of the state she serves and the only one whose approval rating is in a double-digit hole. Brown is term-limited, but it likely wouldn’t matter: Oregonians think her eight years in office have been a failure.
According to a poll from Oregon Public Broadcasting, the most important issues facing voters in the state are homelessness (22.8%), government and leadership (17.3%), and safety, crime, and a lack of police (12.6%). All three reflect poorly on Brown.
Portland, the state’s largest city, has been dealing with a homelessness crisis, as have many liberal cities. Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler has finally begun clearing out homeless encampments, noting that “people in this city aren’t stupid” and can see that the city has an issue. Wheeler’s top adviser, former Mayor Sam Adams, proposed moving up to 3,000 homeless people into temporary shelters staffed by the Oregon National Guard. Brown shot the idea down.
Meanwhile, the city saw 1,200 shootings last year, which resulted in a record 92 homicides. The city is currently on pace to break that grim record this year, with 34 homicides in just four months. (For comparison, the city saw a total of only 36 homicides in all of 2019). The city recently shuttered its cold case unit to focus on the surge in murders.
Brown showed just how seriously she takes the problem of crime last month when she released a man serving a life sentence for killing a teenager in cold blood without telling the victim’s family about her decision. When Portland was dealing with night after night of violent riots, she criticized the Trump administration for sending federal law enforcement in to protect a federal courthouse when she couldn’t be bothered to offer protections to businesses and residents in her own state.
Crime, public safety, and quality of life have become a concern on the West Coast precisely because Democrats tolerated riots and decided that prosecuting criminals should take a back seat for a more “compassionate” approach. The results have been disastrous in California and Washington as well, but Brown has made Oregon stand out from the crowd. Now, she stands out as the worst governor in the country.