Sam Brownback

Pence breaks Senate tie to advance Sam Brownback nomination

Brownback
Image: Bill Clark / Getty Images

Mike Pence broke a 49-49 tie in the Senate to advance Sam Brownback for a final confirmation vote as U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom.

Why it matters: Brownback, the current governor of Kansas, had his first nomination for the position expire at the end of 2017. Brownback will join HHS Secretary Alex Azar and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell as Trump nominees confirmed by the Senate this week if the final vote passes.

Chris Christie is the least popular governor in the U.S.

Jeff Fusco / AP for Hard Rock International

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is the least popular governor in America according to Morning Consult's Governor Approval Rankings, adding insult to injury after a brutal 2016 that included a failed presidential run and subsequent brushoff from the incoming Trump administration.

Winning trends: Two of the most popular governors — Charlie Baker of Massachusetts and Larry Hogan of Maryland — are Republicans in blue states known for their willingness to enact bipartisan measures, showing that reaching across the aisle still can have a positive resonance with voters.

Losing trends: Two of the least popular governors — Republican Sam Brownback of Kansas and Democrat Dannel Malloy of Connecticut — have found their states facing revenue shortfalls after they enacted sweeping and controversial economic policies from their respective ends of the political spectrum.