Hogan Still 2nd Most Popular Governor in U.S., National Poll Shows

Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan (R) continues to rack up approval numbers that any politician would envy.

According to a national poll released Thursday morning by Morning Consult, Hogan was the second most popular governor in the U.S. in the fourth quarter of 2017. Sixty-six percent of Marylanders said they approved of the job Hogan was doing, compared to 18 percent who disapproved.

Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan

This is the fourth straight quarter that Hogan has been No. 2 in the Morning Consult poll, and the fifth of the last six that he has been in that slot. Hogan has been on the top three list of most popular governors for seven straight quarters.

“It is a testament to his independent, bipartisan style and the progress Maryland is making under his leadership that voters of all political stripes continue to give Gov. Hogan such high job approval marks,” Jim Barnett, Hogan’s campaign manager, said in a statement provided to Maryland Matters.

The rankings for late 2017 were based on surveys with 253,393 registered voters nationwide conducted online from Oct. 1 through Dec. 31. The margin of error for the Maryland portion of the poll was 2 points.

As has been the case for the past few Morning Consult surveys, the most popular governor in the nation is another Republican centrist, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker. He had a 69 percent approval rating, with a 16 percent disapproval rating.

In fact, everyone on the top 10 list of most popular governors was a Republican, including another moderate in a blue state, Vermont Gov. Phil Scott, who finished in the No. 4 slot. The most popular Democratic governors on the list were John Carney of Delaware and Andrew Cuomo of New York. Both registered a 55 percent approval rating.

Eight of the 10 least popular governors in the survey were also Republicans, with recently retired New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) at the very bottom. Seventy-six percent of Garden State voters said they disapproved of the job he was doing.

When the numbers are sliced and diced another way, of the 19 governors seeking re-election in 2018, Hogan had the third highest net approval margin, at 48 points. Only Baker (+53) and Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (+49) were higher.

Asked by a television reporter Wednesday why Hogan was so popular, state Sen. Richard S. Madaleno (D-Montgomery), one of the seven Democratic candidates for governor, replied, “Because he hasn’t done anything, and because he has embraced the Democratic agenda that is broadly supported by the people of the state of Maryland. He is able to do the things, benefit from the things that we created, that people appreciate.”

William F. Zorzi contributed to this report.

Josh Kurtz
Co-founder and Editor Josh Kurtz is the leading chronicler of Maryland politics and government. He began covering the State House in 1995 for The Gazette newspapers, and has been writing about state and local politics ever since. He later became an editor at Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, and spent eight years at E&E News, an online subscription-only publisher of news websites covering energy and environmental issues. For seven of those years, he led a staff of 20 reporters at E&E Daily, which covers energy and environmental policy on Capitol Hill and in national politics. For 6 1/2 years he wrote a weekly column on state politics for Center Maryland and has written for several other Maryland publications as well. Kurtz has given speeches and appeared on TV and radio shows about Maryland politics through the years.


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