Governor Charlie Baker is popular. He’s just no longer the most popular, according to one nationwide poll.
After years of reigning atop Morning Consult’s national surveys of gubernatorial approval rates, Baker slipped to No. 3 in the group’s latest poll, in which 69 percent of Massachusetts voters said they approve of the job the second-term governor is doing.
That tied Baker with fellow Republicans Mark Gordon, of Wyoming, and Larry Hogan, of Maryland, but the 19 percent who disapprove of Baker’s job performance was slightly higher than that of Gordon (11 percent) or Hogan (16), according to the survey released Thursday.
It was enough, as Morning Consult put it, to ensure Baker was “dethroned.”
Baker’s figures, which Morning Consult posts each quarter for governors, actually don’t differ much from past polls. Anywhere from 69 to 75 percent of voters have approved of what Baker is doing dating back to the second quarter of 2017. And his net approval among Democrats (plus-54) is actually the highest of any group.
Registry of Motor Vehicles officials admitted in the summer that workers had been ignoring thousands of notifications from other states where Massachusetts-licensed drivers had broken the law, a failure a state-commissioned report said dates back decades.
The State Police force is still trying to pull itself out from under years of corruption and cultural problems.
But it’s rarely, if ever, affected Baker’s popularity in public polling. The Morning Consult poll uses a different methodology than other surveys. Most pollsters call hundreds of people over a few days, while Morning Consult says it reaches thousands by surveying people in each state daily over the course of three months. And Baker has consistently rated at the top.
The governor hasn’t ruled out running for a third term in 2022.