In New England, residents either love their governors or hate them. And they aren’t shy about telling some stranger on the phone exactly how they feel.
A new Morning Consult poll of the approval ratings for all the nation’s governors finds the region’s are unusual standouts: They are among the most popular and the least.
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker is once again the nation’s most popular governor among his constituents, while Connecticut’s Dannel Malloy brings up the rear as the nation’s least popular.
Overall, of New England’s six governors, three made the top five as most popular, while the other three ranked in the bottom seven.
Interestingly, it is three Republican governors here in deeply Democratic New England who are among the nation’s most popular. Baker ranked first, Vermont Governor Phil Scott ranked fourth, and New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu ranked fifth.
All of New England’s governors’ seats are up for election this year. But given that the unpopular Malloy isn’t running again and Maine’s controversial Paul LePage (45th-most popular) is term-limited, the governor most at-risk is Rhode Island’s first-term Democrat, Gina Raimondo.
According to the new poll, only 39 percent of residents approve of Raimondo’s job performance, while 50 percent disapprove. How bad is that number? Missouri Governor Eric Greitens, who was indicted in February on a number of felony charges and faces impeachment, has a 40 percent approval rating. Raimondo faces a Democratic primary in her reelection, and if she makes it to the general she will face a Republican nominee as well as strong Democratic-leaning independent challenger.
As for Baker, 71 percent of Massachusetts residents polled said they approved of him, while only 16 percent disapproved and 14 percent said they didn’t know. The numbers are more or less unchanged from the fall, when Baker had a 69 percent approval rating and was still the nation’s most popular governor.
Morning Consult polled nearly 275,000 Americans over the first three months of the year about how they felt about their state’s governor and US senators.James Pindell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org