Is Baker an honorary Democrat?
Baker remains the most popular governor in America with a 71 percent approval rating
Democrats nationally may be united against the Republican in the White House, but here in Massachusetts the donkeys seem to think our Republican governor is one of their own.
Members of the all-Democrat Massachusetts congressional delegation rarely have a negative word for Gov. Charlie Baker and the same holds true for the Democrats up on Beacon Hill and in the offices of mayors across the state. It makes it tough for the three Democrats seeking the party’s nomination to run against Baker, who Boston Herald columnist Howie Carr likes to call “Tall Deval.”
The latest blow came on Thursday when Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera, a Democrat, endorsed Baker for reelection. Rivera, who backed Baker’s Democratic opponent, Martha Coakley, in 2014, indicated the governor has had his and the city’s back over the last four years. He said Baker made sure the city had enough road salt to make it through last winter and also came to the city’s defense last month when President Trump said New Hampshire was the cause of the Granite State’s opioid problem.
Setti Warren, one of the three Democrats running for governor, didn’t feel much Democratic love when he recently said he would veto the criminal justice reform legislation sitting on the governor’s desk. Warren said he supported 99 percent of what’s in the bill, but couldn’t accept the addition of more mandatory prison sentences for trafficking fentanyl.
Democrats on Beacon Hill weren’t pleased. Sen. William Brownsberger of Belmont, one of the architects of the criminal justice legislation, called Warren “uninformed” and said he would support Jay Gonzalez, one of Warren’s opponents in the Democratic primary. Gonzalez and the other Democratic candidate for governor, Bob Massie, have said they would sign the bill even though they oppose the new mandatory minimum sentences it contains.Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez, the chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, didn’t take a pass when asked about Warren’s position. “I’m bummed out. I’m bummed out that he would take such a strong position, especially since so many of the people that are in this building and that are in the communities are applauding such an incredible bill,” Sanchez told State House News.
Meanwhile, the latest Morning Consult poll indicates Baker remains the most popular governor in America, with a 71 percent approval rating. Baker’s high favorability undoubtedly has a lot to do with the muted Democratic support for the party’s three challengers.