Access to this thesis is limited to Boise State University students and employees or persons using Boise State University facilities.

Off-campus Boise State University users: To download Boise State University access-only theses/dissertations, please select the "Off-Campus Download" button and enter your Boise State username and password when prompted.

Publication Date


Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)


Type of Culminating Activity

Thesis - Boise State University Access Only

Degree Title

Master of Arts in Political Science


Political Science

Major Advisor

Stephen M. Utych, Ph.D.


Jeffrey Lyons, Ph.D.


Michael Allen, Ph.D.


The limited research examining citizens’ approval of governors has primarily taken a fiscal approach. Research has largely overlooked the impact of governors’ personal characteristics or their experiences on their approval ratings. This study evaluates how a governor's background affects public approval ratings by looking at whether or not a military background influences these ratings. The public service that is required in the military impacts all citizens of the United States, and has the potential to influence governors with military backgrounds in their public approval rating polls. Evaluating this effect can be done by analyzing governors during a twenty-year time span, to determine if those with a military background have higher public approval ratings than those who do not. This research finds that there is a correlation between military service and governor approval ratings.