Blue-state Republicans slump without Trump as foil

In part, Baker’s downward slide can be attributed to his state’s troubled vaccine rollout, which got off to a slow start and was marked by a very public website crash for the vaccine appointment booking system. Yet there are also signs another factor may be contributing to his decline: Donald Trump’s departure from the White House…

Baker isn’t the only blue-state Republican governor who’s seen his popularity dented by coronavirus fatigue and Trump’s absence from the news cycle. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and Vermont Gov. Phil Scott — two other Trump critics who have long rated among the most popular governors in the nation — have also seen their numbers dip in the post-Trump era.

“If you happen to be a Republican governor, and you’re sort of disagreeing with Trump, you’re likely to be really, really popular among the other side, much more so than if you were agreeing with the main party. So I think that goes a long way to explaining it,” said Matthew Baum, a researcher on the Covid States Project.