Where Moderate Republicans Are Wildly Popular

Morning Consult has updated their popularity ratings for the nation’s fifty governors. Some of the results aren’t too surprising. The least popular governor in the country is Chris Christie of New Jersey. He’s followed by Connecticut governor, Dan Malloy. Also trailing the pack are Republican governors Mary Fallin of Oklahoma, Sam Brownback of Kansas, and Bruce Rauner of Illinois.

What’s less predictable is the profile of the most popular governors.

The two most best-rated are Larry Hogan of Maryland and Charlie Baker of Massachusetts. Not far behind them are Phil Scott and Chris Sununu of Vermont and New Hampshire, respectively.

What they all have in common is that they are Republicans serving their first term in states Hillary Clinton won. In fact, Vermont, Maryland, and Massachusetts were some of her strongest states.

There are other Republican governors near the top of the popularity list, like Asa Hutchison of Arkansas, Kay Ivey of Alabama, and Doug Burgum of North Dakota, but they all serve states that voted overwhelmingly for Trump.

So, we’re living in a time when being a fairly moderate Republican can be extremely popular, but you’d never know it by the way the Republicans in Washington, D.C. are behaving. Our Republican U.S. Senators and Representatives are terrified of crossing Trump and his supporters, and moderates are retiring and looking for the exits.

I guess this says something about how perverse our national politics have become, perhaps through a combination of factors including the gerrymandering of House districts.

But you can still be a moderate Republican, and a wildly popular politician, as long as you do it in a blue state and stay far away from our nation’s capital.

Martin Longman

Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly and the main blogger at Booman Tribune.