The newest Morning Consult poll ranking the popularity of America’s governors is out, and once again Chris Sununu comes in at number four and has a 60 percent approval rating.
He’s been at this level for most of 2018, but this updated poll is more significant–and not just because it’s less than a month until Election Day. During the same six-month period that Sununu’s stayed at or above 60 percent, Donald Trump’s approval in New Hampshire has fallen from 43-54 to 40-57 percent. Over that same period, Trump has had awful news coverage of stories like the treatment of illegal-immigrant families at the US southern border and embarrassing revelations from Stormy Daniels, among (many) others.
With all that negative coverage and the top of the ticket at 40 percent approval, Sununu at 60 percent is significant. It adds to the evidence that attempts by Democrats to link him to Trump are unlikely to succeed.
More evidence is the fact that three of the four most popular governors in the country are Republicans in blue states: Charlie Baker (MA), Larry Hogan (MD) and Sununu. If Trump’s unpopularity were a career-ending drag on GOP candidates in blue states, you’d almost certainly see it in this group. Instead, they continue to hold their positions near the top of the rankings.
In fact, the one New England governor whose fortunes have fallen is Vermont’s Phil Scott. From Morning Consult Q2 poll:
The first-term governor, who was elected in 2016 and is facing a primary challenge, saw his stock plummet between the first and second quarters of the year. Scott’s approval among Vermonters fell 18 points to 47 percent while his disapproval doubled to 42 percent.
That net 38 point drop is the biggest quarterly shift since Morning Consult began polling the subject in May 2016.
And it had nothing to do with Trump. Instead, he flip-flopped on the Second Amendment, signed some new gun-control bills and lost his GOP support. There is currently no sign that Sununu is anything other than popular among New Hampshire Republicans.
If Sununu’s numbers are going to drop, it won’t be because of the #BlueWave or a Donald Trump faux pas. No, Molly Kelly is going to have to knock them down herself. Her first big punch is on the issue of paid family medical leave. So far, it doesn’t look like she’s made much impact.