Gov. Tom Wolf is the third most popular Democratic governor in the country, according to a recent Morning Consult poll. But that only made him the 21st most popular among all governors, as Republicans took the first 14 slots in the poll and 18 of the first 20.
Fifty-three percent of voters polled said they approved of the job Wolf was doing, while 33 percent said they disapproved. About 15 percent said they didn’t know when asked what they thought of Wolf’s performance.
Wolf ranked third among Democrats behind Montana Gov. Steve Bullock and Delaware Gov. John Carney, who tied with an approval rating of 54 percent.
The governor’s approval rating held steady at 53 percent from the first quarter of 2019. His disapproval rating increased from 32 percent to 33 percent. Wolf’s approval rating has steadily climbed since the second quarter of 2018, when only 45 percent of those polled said they thought he was doing a good job and 38 percent indicated they disapproved.
Wolf’s net approval rating among Democrats was +63, while it was -23 among Republicans and +22 among independents.
The Republicans hold the majority of seats in the Pennsylvania House and Senate and Wolf has at times drew their ire. In October 2018, Wolf was criticized for vetoing legislation that would have required able-bodied Medicaid recipients to seek work.
Wolf was opposed for re-election by Republican Scott Wagner, who said he would support the legislation if elected. Wagner lost the election, receiving 40.7 percent of the vote to Wolf’s 57.8 percent.
Republicans oppose Wolf’s proposal to impose a severance tax on natural gas drilling to raise $4.5 billion that will be used to expand broadband access across the state.
The natural gas sector already sends hundreds of millions of dollars a year to state coffers via an impact fee, Republicans said.
Wolf has spoken out against the Trump administration, most recently for its plan to limit the USDA’s food stamp program.
“I oppose this ludicrous change that will hurt tens of thousands of Pennsylvanians, creating an undue burden and more food insecurity for families, older Pennsylvanians and people with disabilities who already struggle to put food on the table,” Wolf said in a statement.
Wolf has received some praise from Republicans, particularly in efforts to streamline state government. Rep. Seth Grove praised the governor during a news conference on July 30 for taking the lead in merging the Department of Health and the Department of Human Services into one entity.
Republican Gov. Charlie Baker of Massachusetts was the most popular governor in the poll with 73 percent of respondents saying he was doing a good job. Democrat Ned Lamont of Connecticut finished last with a 32 percent approval rate.
Morning Consult polled 472,802 voters to between Jan. 1 and March 21 of this year to determine their latest ratings.