Two new polls find that nearly all the top most popular and successful state governors in America are Republicans.
First, a new survey released by the Morning Consult on Wednesday asked registered voters in all 50 states (or is that 56, Mr. Obama?) to assess how well they feel their governor has performed in office. The responses were then ranked across the states to determine how popular the governors are.
According to the Washington Free Beacon:
The results indicated that for the seventh quarter in a row, the country’s 10 most popular governors are all members of the Republican Party. The GOP’s popularity at the gubernatorial level transcended the conventional boundaries defined by geography and ideology. Republican governors not only scored impressive approval numbers in conservative states throughout the Deep South and the Plains but also in liberal states on the coasts and in the West.
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R.), who has consistently been ranked as the nation’s most popular governor, remained in first place this quarter. The governor’s overall approval rating among Bay State residents stood at 70 percent, a slight increase over his last quarter’s approval rating of 69 percent. Baker is heavily favored to secure a second term this year, despite the fact Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton carried the state by nearly 30 points in 2016.
Likewise, Republican governors like Brian Sandoval (Nev.), Chris Sununu (N.H.), and Larry Hogan (Md.) garnered top ranking, despite coming from states carried by Clinton in the last presidential election.
Apart from Baker, five other Republican governors who made the top ten list, including Greg Abbott (Texas), Asa Hutchinson (Ark.), and Kay Ivey (Ala.), are vying for re-election this year.
The Morning Consult poll was taken between July and September.
This is not the only recent poll that found Republicans to be in the top tier of results.
A new report of the fiscal health of all fifty states shows that fully 19 of the top 20 most successful governors are Republicans.
The 2018 Fiscal Policy Report Card on America’s Governors was released by the CATO Institute on Tuesday awarding the top most successful economy rating to New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez. (See report HERE)
According to the summary:
Five governors were awarded an A on this report: Susana Martinez of New Mexico, Henry McMaster of South Carolina, Doug Burgum of North Dakota, Paul LePage of Maine, and Greg Abbott of Texas. Eight governors were awarded an F: Roy Cooper of North Carolina, John Bel Edwards of Louisiana, Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania, Jim Justice of West Virginia, Dennis Daugaard of South Dakota, David Ige of Hawaii, Kate Brown of Oregon, and Jay Inslee of Washington.
Governors of every state are having their fiscal choices shaped by the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. State income tax bases are tied to the federal tax base, so governors have been considering which federal changes to conform to. Also, the capping of the federal tax deduction for state and local taxes has increased the bite of those taxes for millions of households. The cap has increased the relative burden of living in a high-tax state, and it may induce higher out-migration from those states over time.
The state fiscal environment is also being shaped by recent Supreme Court decisions regarding online sales taxes and public-sector labor unions. Furthermore, the legalization of marijuana has created a new source of revenue for some states.
But the top and bottom states are instructive because the top 20 are almost exclusively filled with Republicans while the worst states are almost all Democrat-led states.
Of the top five governors that received an A grade, all are Republicans:
- New Mexico Susana Martinez (R) 73 A
- South Carolina Henry McMaster (R) 69 A
- North Dakota Doug Burgum (R) 68 A
- Maine Paul LePage (R) 67 A
- Texas Greg Abbott (R) A
Not only that, but not a single Democrat governor received a B grade, either:
- Ohio John Kasich (R) 62 B
- Nebraska Pete Ricketts (R) 62 B
- Mississippi Phil Bryant (R) 62 B
- Wyoming Matt Mead (R) 61 B
- Illinois Bruce Rauner (R) 59 B
- Georgia Nathan Deal (R) 59 B
- Florida Rick Scott (R) 56 B
- Idaho C. L. “Butch” Otter (R) 56 B
- Vermont Phil Scott (R) 56 B
- New Hampshire Chris Sununu (R) 56 B
- Michigan Rick Snyder (R) 55 B
And of the eight governors who were slapped with an F grade, only 2 were Republicans:
- North Carolina Roy Cooper (D) 39 F
- Louisiana John Bel Edwards (D) 37 F
- Pennsylvania Tom Wolf (D) 37 F
- West Virginia Jim Justice (R) 35 F
- Hawaii David Ige (D) 35 F
- South Dakota Dennis Daugaard (R) 35 F
- Oregon Kate Brown (D) 30 F
- Washington Jay Inslee (D) 23 F
It should not be a surprise that only Republican governors have succeeded in leading their states to success.
The lesson to voters is clear. If you want good governors, vote Republican.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.
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