Politics

Charlie Baker Maintains Remarkable Favorability Numbers

Massachusetts voters still widely approve of the job the Republican governor is doing, and have the exact opposite impression of President Trump.

Photo via Governor’s Office/Alastair Pike

Like bad weather and delayed commuter rail trains, Gov. Charlie Baker’s popularity has become a fact of Massachusetts life.

According to the latest WBUR poll, 66 percent of Massachusetts voters have a favorable view of the governor. At this point, Baker’s consistent popularity is getting monotonous: He peaked at 69 percent favorability in June 2015, and his numbers have remained within a few percentage points of that since he took office. And he’s done so, by the way, as a Republican in one of America’s bluest states.

Baker continues to be one of the most popular kids at the GOP lunch table despite the fact that the leader of his party, President Donald Trump, probably couldn’t be elected to much of anything it was only up to Massachusetts. A blistering 64 percent of Bay State voters have an unfavorable opinion of the president—a number that hasn’t changed much since last June, either. And it’s not just that people in Massachusetts don’t like the president: 62 percent of voters don’t even think he’s fit to run the country.

The stark contrast between voters’ perceptions of the governor and the president acutely illustrate the power of political moderates. In a state where more than three times as many people are registered as Democrats than Republicans, Baker has made inroads by cooperating with his liberal counterparts on Beacon Hill and distancing himself from Trump on divisive issues.

Baker’s political opponents are likely less thrilled with the incumbent’s ironclad reputation among voters. But Baker’s popularity should probably take a backseat for a Democratic field that has struggled to gain voters’ awareness, much less support. According to the WBUR poll, 68 percent of respondents said they had never heard of Setti Warren; 65 percent said the same about Bob Massie; and 72 percent didn’t know who Jay Gonzalez was.

WBUR also polled voters about a number of other Massachusetts topics. The MBTA should be heartened by the fact that 45 percent of people think the agency is doing better this winter than in the past. And 54 percent of voters think it’s a good idea for former Gov. Mitt Romney to run for Senate in Utah.