A recent Morning Consult national poll testing the approval ratings of the nation’s governors produced a surprising result. The most popular governor in the United States is someone you may have never even heard of, someone who is wildly popular despite the fact that his state’s entire congressional delegation is from the opposite political party. So who is this man with a 71 percent approval rating?
He is the governor of Massachusetts, one of the most Democratic states in America. But this governor is a Republican. His name is Charlie Baker.
So how is a Republican from the state that gave us Ted Kennedy and Elizabeth Warren even elected, let alone the most popular politician in the state? There are several reasons.
1. Baker is a check on liberal policies.
The Bay State citizens voted in Mr. Baker to provide balance. With more Independents than Democrats living in the state, this makes perfect sense.
2. Things are going well in Massachusetts.
Unemployment is low. The public schools are among the finest in America. Many of the nation’s leading hospitals and universities are here. Boston is tied with New York City for the amount of venture capital funding projects. Boston is undergoing a historic building boom. So when things are going well, whoever is in office gets high ratings.
3. Baker is the best of both worlds.
The governor won election as a non-partisan manager. He is conservative on fiscal matters but liberal on issues like abortion. Thus, he actually represents the people of Massachusetts more closely than most Democrats.
Despite living in a state that is hugely Democratic, in all possible match-ups for re-election, it’s not even close. No Democrat gets more than 30 percent in the polls. Even the son of Bobby Kennedy is bowing out. Expect the governor to win easy re-election in Massachusetts. And keep your eye on him in 2024. He just might be the next Mitt Romney – a former Republican governor from a liberal, northeast state – to run for the White House. Could Governor Baker become President Baker? Stay tuned.