BOSTON (State House News Service) – With Gov. Charlie Baker at the top of the pack, a pair of Republicans leading blue states are the country’s most popular governors, according to a new survey.
The Morning Consult poll released Tuesday found Baker once again has the highest approval rating among governors in the U.S., with 71 percent of Massachusetts respondents approving his job performance and 17 percent disapproving. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan was close behind, with 68 percent approval and 16 percent disapproval.
Morning Consult also highlighted Vermont Gov. Phil Scott, who landed in the number 8 spot, writing that Baker, Scott and Hogan “stand out for their pragmatic, relatively nonpartisan approaches to governing alongside legislatures dominated by Democrats” and that each GOP governor “has kept their distance from Trump, a reviled figure among large swaths of their constituents.”
The rankings were compiled using more than 195,000 interviews with registered voters across the U.S. from April 1 through July 10.
Baker’s numbers are better than five Democrats who the pollsters said have been floated as possible candidates for president in 2020 – Steve Bullock of Montana, Andrew Cuomo of New York, John Hickenlooper of Colorado, Terry McAuliffe of Virginia and Jerry Brown of California.
Baker, who edged Democrat Martha Coakley to win the governorship in 2014, is expected to seek reelection, but has not formally announced his plans. Three Democrats – Jay Gonzalez, Robert Massie and Setti Warren – are already waging campaigns for their party’s nomination.
Baker and Scott in May sent a letter to Rick Perry, President Donald Trump’s energy secretary, asking him to maintain the United States’ commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement. Trump announced in June he would withdraw from the accord.
The poll results come as lawmakers decide which of Baker’s $320 million in budget vetoes they will seek to override, including local earmarks.
The lowest rankings in the poll were also earned by Republican governors: Chris Christie of New Jersey — whom Baker had backed in his party’s 2016 presidential primary — with a 69 percent disapproval rating, and Sam Brownback of Kansas with 66 percent.
Three New England governors are among the country’s 10 least popular: Connecticut’s Dan Malloy (64 percent disapprove); Maine’s Paul LePage (48 percent disapprove); and Rhode Island’s Gina Raimondo (47 percent disapprove).