It wasn't much of a surprise to see Gov. John Bel Edwards' strong poll numbers in the latest 50-state roundup by Morning Consult, which was released this week.
Despite his Democratic affiliation and Louisiana's strongly Republican leanings, every other poll has shown Edwards making it through the first half of a challenging term with his popularity intact. In a recent column, I discussed some of the reasons why, including the desire by voters of all stripes for governors who work from the center, even as they often seek ideological purity in Washington.
So the shocking news out of the report wasn't that Edwards did well, pulling down a 56 percent approval rating, compared to a 27 percent disapproval figure. It was that his home-state approval rating was higher than any other Democratic governor, even those whose constituents are far more likely to share the chief executive's political leanings.
Edwards tied for 14th place in the national ranking with Georgia Republican Nathan Deal, but everyone who beat him out was a Republican. That list includes both leaders of bright blue states such as Massachusetts and Maryland, and conservative strongholds such as Alabama and Texas. The difference is within the margin of error, but Edwards still finished a tick ahead of New York's Andrew Cuomo. And he came in eight points ahead of California's Jerry Brown.
One possible conclusion here is that Republican governors as a whole are more popular than Democrats, but that assumption falls apart upon closer inspection. The 10 most popular governors may belong to the GOP, but so do eight of the bottom ten. For what that's worth.