A periodic nationwide survey of how people in each state feel about their elected leaders may not be the most precise measure, but it usually makes for interesting reading. The latest gubernatorial roundup from Morning Consult, based on polling conducted between April 1 and June 30, sure does.
One tidbit is that the nation’s 10 most popular governors are Republicans. In fact, you need to read all the way down to #16 to get to the highest-rated Democrat, John Hickenlooper of Colorado. Of course, Republicans control 33 of the nation’s 50 gubernatorial offices, so odds start off in their favor.
Louisiana has one of 16 Democratic governors (the other is independent), and John Bel Edwards, who is starting to gear up for his reelection bid in 2019, just eked into the top half. His approval rating is 49 percent, just shy of the magic number of 50 but well ahead of his 35 percent disapproval rating.
That’s pretty good news for a Democrat running in a Republican-leaning state. Also likely to encourage the governor’s camp is the general trend away of party playing a decisive role in determining gubernatorial popularity.
The two most popular governors, both perennial top finishers on this list, are Republicans who lead Democratic states, Charlie Baker of Massachusetts and Larry Hogan of Maryland. And rounding out the bottom of the list are two governors whose party labels reflect their constituents’ general preferences. In Connecticut, Democratic Gov. Dan Malloy got a thumbs-up from just 21 percent of those interviewed. And in Oklahoma, Republican Gov. Mary Fallin got support from just 19 percent of the constituents polled – a figure so low that it rivals Edwards’ predecessor Bobby Jindal’s approval rating toward the end of his two terms.