A new poll on approval rankings of U.S. governors shows Republicans in a strong position for those seeking re-election this year.
The top 10 governors, based on the poll, are all Republicans with at least a 59 percent net approval rate.
The Morning Consult’s Governor Approval Rankings is based on a survey of 253,393 registered voters nationwide.
First-term GOP governors in blue states have high approval rates as well. Charlie Baker has a 69 percent approval rate in Massachusetts, Larry Hogan has a 66 percent approval rate in Maryland and Phil Scott has a 63 percent approval rate in Vermont.
In Alaska, independent Bill Walker finished 2017 as the 6th least popular governor with 55 percent of registered voters disapproving of his work.
The Democrat governors running for reelection this year have relatively low approval rates as well.
Gina Raimondo of Rhode Island is the 11th least popular governor with a 47 percent disapproval rate.
The governors who are not running for re-election were either among the most or least popular governors in 2017. Democrat Dan Malloy of Connecticut was the second-least popular governor in the country, behind Chris Christie.
Democrat Terry McAuliffe will also not be running for re-election in Virginia, though he finished 2017 with a 47 percent approval rate.
Florida’s Republican governor, Rick Scott, is finishing up his second term and many Republicans are trying to get him to challenge Democrat Bill Nelson for his Senate seat.
Politico reported Thursday that Scott has raised $1.1 million for a recently revived super PAC. A Senate bid would hurt Democratic hopes of winning back control of the Senate next year.
“In my opinion, the governor is highly likely to make this race. He has plenty of time to make his final decision,” William Rubin, a Tallahassee lobbyist and friend of Scott, said.
McKinley Lewis, a spokesman for Scott, told Morning Consult that the governor was “focused on finishing his work in office.”
Scott gained seven net points in popularity as the Sunshine State’s governor, with a 58 percent approval rate. His approval numbers increased from GOP, independent and even Democrat voters.
The Morning Consult’s poll was conducted from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31, 2017, to find the governor approval rankings for the fourth quarter.
In the poll, voters indicated whether they approved or disapproved of their governor’s job performance. “For each question, they could answer strongly approve, somewhat approve, somewhat disapprove, strongly disapprove, or don’t know/no opinion,” according to Morning Consult Polling.
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