Massachusetts: You like him. You really like him. Still.
For much of his nearly three years in office, Governor Charlie Baker has reigned as the country’s most popular governor in national surveys.
And in a new Morning Consult poll, he maintains the distinction: Sixty-nine percent of Massachusetts voters approve of Baker’s job performance, while just 17 percent disapprove.
Those numbers — once again — vault him ahead of the country’s 49 other state chief executives.
For context, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, whom Baker endorsed for president in 2016, sat on the other end of the gubernatorial bridge, if you will. Only 18 percent of Garden State voters have a favorable view of Christie’s job performance, while an eye-popping 77 percent disapprove, the survey found.
Baker, a Swampscott Republican, has attributed his popularity to several factors, including what he describes as his bipartisanship, the high caliber of the people on his policy team, and his administration not getting “tangled up” in partisan noise.
He has also benefited from a strong economy, low unemployment in many parts of the state, and a feeling among voters that the state is generally headed in the right direction, while the nation is way off on the wrong track.
Democratic antagonists say Baker has spent years blaming others for the state’s problems and taking credit for modest successes, artificially buoying his job approval.
How voters view other New England governors varies.
Governor Dannel P. Malloy, a Democrat who has struggled to balance Connecticut’s budget and has seen major companies such as General Electric leave the state under his watch, ranks as the second-most-unpopular governor, with 68 percent of voters disapproving of the job he’s doing.
More Mainers give a thumbs-down to the job Republican Paul R. LePage is doing as governor than a thumbs-up, 52 percent to 42 percent. Same with Rhode Island Governor Gina M. Raimondo, a Democrat: 47 percent disapprove, while 41 percent approve.
But New Hampshire Governor Chris T. Sununu and Vermont Governor Phil Scott are in very comfortable positions, according to the poll. About six out of 10 voters in both states approve of the job their Republican chief executives are doing, while only about one in five disapprove.
Baker, who is expected to soon announce that he’s running for a second term in 2018, is seen more favorably in Massachusetts than the state’s two US senators, both Democrats.
Fifty-four percent of voters approve of the job performance of Elizabeth Warren, the progressive firebrand from Cambridge, while 35 percent disapprove. If those numbers hold, they place her in good stead for her reelection bid next year.
Edward J. Markey is less well known and fares slightly less well among those who are familiar with him. Forty-nine percent approve of how the longtime member of Congress is doing his job, while 22 percent disapprove, and 28 percent either don’t know or have no opinion.
The rankings were compiled by Morning Consult after interviewing 255,120 registered US voters online from July 1 through Sept. 31. Of those surveyed, 5,581 were Massachusetts voters. The Bay State data carried a margin of error of plus or minus one percentage point.Joshua Miller can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.