Baker remains on top in popularity rankings, poll shows

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BOSTON – Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker remains the country’s most popular governor, according to a survey released Thursday by Morning Consult in Washington, and the Republican stands even taller when compared with his fellow New England governors.

Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy and Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo, both Democrats, as well as Maine Republican Gov. Paul LePage all appear on the list of the 10 least popular state chief executives. Malloy ranked next-to-last in the nation, with a 29 percent job approval rating. In New Hampshire, Gov. Maggie Hassan had a 56 percent job approval rating. Hassan, a Democrat, is running for the U.S. Senate seat held by Republican Kelly Ayotte.

It is a repeat performance for Baker, who was dubbed the most popular governor the last time the media, polling and policy analysis firm released a nationwide survey of governors in November. Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback. a Republican, was once again the least-popular governor, according to the surveys.

Baker, who narrowly won the office in 2014 to succeed Democrat Deval Patrick has courted Democrats, who dominate the Legislature, and said he would not vote for Donald Trump should the controversial New York billionaire become his party’s presidential nominee.

Polling 66,000 registered voters throughout the country through online surveys, Morning Consult found Baker with a 72 percent approval rating, little changed from the 74 percent he enjoyed in November. The latest poll of 1,205 registered voters in Massachusetts was conducted between January and early May and in Massachusetts had a margin of error of 2.8 percentage points.

The pollsters said Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, a Republican, saw the largest swing in voter sentiment, as those who disapprove of his job performance climbed 17 percentage points to 63 percent while those who approve fell 13 points to 32 percent.

Baker has not yet announced whether he would run for re-election in 2018.

Written by Andy Metzger