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Poll: Most Popular Governors Are Republicans

| by Robert Fowler
Republican Gov. Charlie Baker of MassachusettsRepublican Gov. Charlie Baker of Massachusetts

In a new survey measuring the popularity of all 50 U.S. governors, Republicans made a clean sweep across the top slots. Republican Gov. Charlie Baker of Massachusetts sits atop the field while Republican Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey has the dubious honor of being the most unpopular state executive in the country.

On April 11, a Morning Consult poll surveying how national adults view their governors found that the top 10 is full of Republicans.

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Baker took first place with 75 percent of his constituents approving of him while only 17 percent disapproved. In February 2016, the Massachusetts governor suggested that his popularity stemmed from his ability to work with his predominantly Democratic Legislature.

"Most of the people I talk to really appreciate that we haven't been engaging in a lot of partisan name-calling and [they also] like the fact that we seem to be focused on the work," Baker told Boston Magazine. "That says to me that most of them would prefer to see less of the yelling and screaming and more of the just-get-it-done stuff."

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Rounding out the top ten were Republican Govs. Larry Hogan of Maryland, Doug Burgum of North Dakota, Phil Scott of Vermont, Dennis Daugaard of South Dakota, Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas, Greg Abbott of Texas, Bill Haslam of Tennessee, Brian Sandoval of Nevada, Gary Herbert of Utah and Nathan Deal of Georgia, in that order.

Democratic Gov. Jim Justice of West Virginia was the most popular state executive in his party, taking 15th. The majority of Democratic governors occupied the middle region of the poll, while Republicans also dominated the bottom 10.

Christie took the lowest slot on the list, marking him as the least popular governor in the country. Also occupying the bottom five were Republican Gov. Sam Brownback of Kansas, Democratic Gov. Dan Malloy of Connecticut, Republican Gov. Rick Snyder of Michigan and Independent Gov. Bill Walker of Alaska.

Republican Gov. Robert Bentley of Alabama managed to escape the bottom 10, an impressive achievement given that he had just resigned in the midst of a scandal. On April 10, Bentley stepped down from office after facing impeachment, as well as criminal charges related to his efforts to conceal an affair he had had with a political adviser, CNN reports.

The GOP dominated both the top and bottom spots of the poll while Democrats were largely buried in the middle. The prevalence of Republican governors on the list is partly because there are considerably more of them than their Democratic counterparts.

Following the 2016 election, 33 of all 50 U.S. governors were Republican, coupled with GOP majorities in 32 state legislatures, according to the Daily Kos.

Sources: Boston MagazineCNN, Daily Kos, Morning Consult / Photo credit: Executive Office Health and Human Services/Flickr

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