Governor Charlie Baker (R-MA) is the most popular governor in the nation.

Republicans currently dominate the state political landscape. There are thirty-three Republican Governors compared to 16 Democrat governors. In 26 states Republicans control both the Governor’s office and the state legislature, Democrats control the state government in eight states.

Twenty of these Governors are running for reelection. How do the Governors stack up in terms of popularity? Last week, Morning Consult ranked Governors by their job approval and Republican Governors make up the top 15 and three of the top five are from traditionally blue states.

Here are the rankings (those running for re-election are in bold, those in italics are either term-limited or chose not to run in 2018):

  1. Charlie Baker (R-MA) 71% approve 16% disapprove (+55)
  2. Larry Hogan (R-MD) 68% approve 17% disapprove (+51)
  3. Kay Ivey (R-AL) 67% approve 15% disapprove (+52)
  4. Phil Scott (R-VT) 65% approve 21% disapprove (+44)
  5. Chris Sununu (R-NH) 63% approve 21% disapprove (+42)
  6. Dennis Daugaard (R-SD) 62% approve 24% disapprove (+38)
  7. Matt Mead (R-WY) 61% approve 25% disapprove (+36)
  8. Gary Herbert (R-UT) 60% approve 23% disapprove (+37)
  9. Doug Barnum (R-ND) 58% approve 22% disapprove (+36)
  10. Brian Sandoval (R-NV) 57% approve 22% disapprove (+35)
  11. Bill Haslam (R-TN) 57% approve 24% disapprove (+33)
  12. Asa Hutchinson (R-AR) 57% approve 25% disapprove (+32)
  13. Nathan Deal (R-GA) 56% approve 24% disapprove (+32)
  14. Greg Abbott (R-TX) 56% approve 26% disapprove (+30)
  15. Rick Scott (R-FL) 55% approve 33% disapprove (+22) (MOE +/-1%)
  16. Steve Bullock (D-MT) 55% approve 32% disapprove (+23) (MOE +/-4%)
  17. Pete Ricketts (R-NE) 53% approve 31% disapprove (+22)
  18. Mark Dayton (D-MN) 53% approve 35% disapprove (+18)
  19. Eric Holcomb (R-IN) 52% approve 23% disapprove (+29)
  20. Phil Bryant (R-MS) 52% approve 26% disapprove (+26)
  21. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) and Jay Inslee (D-WA) 52% approve 30% disapprove (+22)
  22. John Kasich (R-OH) 51% approve 32% disapprove (+19)
  23. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) 51% approve 37% disapprove (+14)
  24. John Carney (D-DE) 50% approve 29% disapprove (+21)
  25. Henry McMaster (R-SC) 50% approve 24% disapprove (+26)
  26. Roy Cooper (D-NC) 50% approve 28% disapprove (+22)
  27. John Bel Edwards (D-LA) 50% approve 31% disapprove (+19)
  28. Butch Otter (R-ID) 47% approve 38% disapprove (+9)
  29. Jerry Brown (D-CA) 46% approve 40% disapprove (+6)
  30. Tom Wolf (D-PA) 45% approve 39% disapprove (+6)
  31. Ralph Northam (D-VA) 44% approve 26% disapprove (+18)
  32. Doug Ducey (R-AZ) 43% approve 36% disapprove (+7)
  33. Kate Brown (D-OR) 43% approve 39% disapprove (+4)
  34. Scott Walker (R-WI) 43% approve 50% disapprove (-7)
  35. Kim Reynolds (R-IA) 42% approve 35% disapprove (+7)
  36. Jim Justice (R-WV) 42% approve 44% disapprove (-2) (switched parties)
  37. Matt Bevin (R-KY) 41% approve 43% disapprove (-2)
  38. Paul LePage (R-ME) 41% approve 53% disapprove (-12)
  39. Eric Greitens (R-MO) 40% approve 39% disapprove (+1)
  40. Gina Raimondo (D-RI) 39% approve 50% disapprove (-11)
  41. Rick Snyder (R-MI) 38% approve 48% disapprove (-10)
  42. Phil Murphy (D-NJ) 37% approve 33% disapprove (+4)
  43. David Ige (D-HI) 37% approve 49% disapprove (-12)
  44. Susana Martinez (R-NM) 37% approve 53% disapprove (-16)
  45. Jeff Colyer (R-KS) 34% approve 21% disapprove (+13)
  46. Bill Walker (I-AK) 29% approve 52% disapprove (-23)
  47. Bruce Rauner (R-IL) 26% approve 60% disapprove (-34)
  48. Mary Fallin (R-OK) 25% approve 63% disapprove (-38)
  49. Dan Malloy (D-CT) 21% approve 72% disapprove (-51)

Below is the Real Clear Politics map as it stands today:

Needless to say, Democrats are likely to gain some ground back in 2018.

I would be surprised if New Mexico and Maine don’t swing toward Democrats. It would take a minor miracle for Governor Bruce Rauner (D-IL) to win re-election in Illinois. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker will have a dogfight in Wisconsin. Iowa and Arizona will probably be close races, but I think Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and Arizona Doug Ducey will prevail.

Out of the toss-up states, Michigan and Nevada I think have the most potential to swing toward Democrats. Ordinarily I’d say Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, and Vermont would be in play, but those Republican governors are some of the most popular in the nation.

With former Governor Tim Pawlenty (R) announcing he will run in Minnesota, that may be the Republican’s best state to swing away from Democrats.

So, my prediction is that Democrats will close the gap some, but Republicans will still prevail in a majority of the gubernatorial contests.

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