Nation’s top 10 governors are all Republicans, poll finds – McClatchy Washington Bureau

All of the 10 most popular governors in the country are Republicans, according to a new poll from Morning Consult.

The two most popular governors, Charlie Baker of Massachusetts and Larry Hogan of Maryland, are both Republicans in blue states. Baker has a 71 percent approval rating and Hogan has a 68 percent approval rating. Another governor in the top 10, Phil Scott of Vermont, leads a Democratic state.

Scott was just elected last year, while Baker and Hogan face voters again next year. Those two governors cosigned a bipartisan letter Tuesday urging the Senate not to repeal the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, without immediately replacing it with another plan. Republican efforts to dismantle former President Barack Obama’s signature legislation fell apart Monday night, when two more senators announced they could not support the bill in its current form.

Those defections led Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to announce he would move forward with a plan to repeal Obamacare and allow two years to formulate a replacement plan. Baker and Hogan, along with nine other governors, said such a move would be dangerous for their states.

“The Senate should immediately reject efforts to ‘repeal’ the current system and replace sometime later. This could leave millions of Americans without coverage,” the governors wrote. “The best next step is for both parties to come together and do what we can all agree on: fix our unstable insurance markets.”

Governors have been vocal about Congress’ health care bills, concerned that cutting off coverage could leave states responsible for filling very expensive gaps. Thirty-three states are led by Republicans, 16 by Democrats and one by an Independent.

Governors in the top 10 also include Matt Mead of Wyoming, Doug Burgum of North Dakota, Dennis Daugaard of South Dakota, Kay Ivey of Alabama, Brian Sandoval of Nevada, Gary Herbert of Utah, and Bill Haslam of Tennessee.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican who was once popular in his Democratic state, is the nation’s most unpopular governor. Sixty-nine percent of New Jersey voters disapprove of his job performance, while only 25 percent approve. Christie, who ran for president in 2016, recently upset his constituents by spending the day at the Jersey shore while beaches were closed to the public over a budget dispute.

Out of the top 10 most unpopular governors, seven are Republican, two are Democrats and one is an Independent. Gov. Dan Malloy of Connecticut is the most unpopular Democrat, with 64 percent disapproval, ranking third of all governors.

Overall, few governors saw their popularity rise among their constituents. Gov. Matt Mead, R-Wyo., had the largest increase at 19 points, while North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, was up by 4 points.

Morning Consult surveyed more than 195,000 registered voters on their approval for the governor of their state.

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