Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker announced Wednesday morning that he will not seek a third term, a major blow to Republicans that directly results from former President Trump’s meddling in races against incumbent governors he sees as insufficiently loyal. As such, we are moving our race rating of Solid Republican to Lean Democrat for the now-open seat.
Last month, a Morning Consult poll found that Baker was the second most popular governor in the country with a 72 percent approval rating. A recent UMass Amherst/WCVB poll found it lower at 56 percent, but it’s still an enviable number, especially for a Republican governor in a blue state that overwhelmingly. Baker first won in 2014 by 2 points over Democratic nominee Martha Coakley. But in 2018, in a strong wave year for Democrats, he was re-elected by just over 32 points.
Even a few weeks ago, GOP officials were mildly optimistic that Baker would run, putting his odds at about 50/50. Republican sources also say they believe that Baker would have tried to make history — and would have been
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