By Matt Murphy, State House News Service
BOSTON (State House News Service) — Days before Gov. Charlie Baker is planning to give his annual address, the well-liked Republican governor has been "dethroned" as the nation's most popular, according to a Morning Consult poll.
Baker actually fell to third place behind first-term Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, also Republicans. All three had approval ratings of 69 percent, but Baker's disapproval number of 19 percent gave him the lowest net approval of the three in the fourth quarter of 2019.
Baker is set to deliver the State of the Commonwealth address next Tuesday night ahead of his filing of his sixth annual budget since becoming governor in 2015. In that span, he has consistently ranked among the most popular governors in the country, despite his party affiliation in an otherwise Democrat-dominated state.
In fact, all three New England Republican governors ranked in the top five with Vermont Gov. Phil Scott and New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu finishing just behind Baker in fourth and fifth place, respectively. On the flip side, Democratic Govs. Gina Raimondo of Rhode Island, Ned Lamont of Connecticut and Janet Mills of Maine were in the bottom 10, though Raimondo was displaced as the least popular governor by Hawaii's David Ige.
In the U.S. Senate, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders ranked as the most popular with a approval rating of 65 percent compared to 29 percent of registered voters who disapprove. Meanwhile, Sen. Elizabeth Warren was labeled the ninth least popular senator with a 40 percent disapproval rating, though 50 percent approve of Warren.
Those two senators had a testy exchange Tuesday night following their presidential primary debate in Iowa over whether Sanders had told Warren during a private meeting in 2018 that he did not think a woman could win the presidency.
U.S. Sen. Ed Markey, who is facing multiple primary challengers in 2020, also had a 50 percent approval rating, but only 25 percent said they disapproved of the state's senior senator.
WBZ NewsRadio's Kendall Buhl (@KBuhlWBZ) reports