New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu again garnered a strong approval ranking in a market research firm’s analysis of voter approval across the U.S.
Sununu, a Republican, was ranked No. 3 in Morning Consult’s list of the most popular governors. The ranking was based on the firm’s just-released second-quarter 2019 analytical report, which is tabulated based on surveys with more than 5,000 registered voters on a daily basis.
Based on Morning Consult’s findings, all of the 10 most popular governors are Republicans. Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker took the top spot in Q2, with a 73-percent approval rating. Sununu, by comparison, garnered a 65-percent approval rating.
This is not the first time Sununu has scored high numbers in Morning Consult’s analysis. A year ago, Sununu also was included in the top-10 list, notching a 63-percent approval rating at the time.
Sununu currently is at odds with New Hampshire’s Democrat-controlled Legislature as attempts at hammering out a new state budget continue.
A stumbling block has been the tax cuts Sununu passed into law several years ago. State Senate and House legislators have called for a freeze to the cuts, but Sununu has stated such a financial maneuver would interfere with existing commitments and harm New Hampshire’s reputation as pro-business.
Across New England, Morning Consult’s latest analysis showed a sharp partisan divide in approval ratings. In addition to New Hampshire and Massachusetts, Vermont’s Republican Gov. Phil Scott had a strong showing, coming in No. 4 with a 60-percent approval rating.
But results for Democrat leaders within the region were different.
Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo and Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont were near the bottom of the analysis at No. 48 and No. 49, respectively. Raimondo’s approval rating, according to the Morning Consult analysis, is 38 percent, while Lamont’s is 32 percent.
Maine Gov. Janet Mills, also a Democrat, came in middle-of-the-pack with a 50-percent approval rating, notching No. 24 overall across the U.S.
In its big-picture insights report, Morning Consult’s researchers noted more favorable results with Republican governors, regardless of the region.
“The 15 most popular governors are Republicans, and 8 of the 10 most unpopular are Democrats,” the firm’s analysts wrote. “On average, Republican governors have a net approval that is 17 points higher than Democrats.”
Morning Consult’s analysts also shared insights on independent voters and how they play into each political party’s current gubernatorial approval rankings.
“Among independent voters, Democratic governors have an average net approval of +5, while Republicans stand at +19,” the researchers wrote.
Another trend of note, according to the researchers: “Over the last quarter, the average Democrat’s approval dropped by 3 points, while the average for Republican governors held steady.”