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Analysis: Malloy 62 Percentage Points Less Popular Than Average, “Replacement” Gov

July 27, 2018 By Staff
Analysis: Malloy 62 Percentage Points Less Popular Than Average, “Replacement” Gov

FiveThirtyEight took a look a how a replacement governor would fare in Connecticut compared to Malloy. Advantage: replacement governor.

FiveThirtyEight had a unique take Friday on the new Morning Consult rankings of all 50 governors in the nation, by approval rating.

The publication introduced a new statistic, “Popularity Above Replacement Governor,” or PARG. Similar to “Wins Above Replacement,” or WAR, in baseball, the statistic seeks to measure how an average governor would fare in net approval, given a state’s partisan leanings.

Here’s how FiveThirtyEight explained it:

There is basically no correlation between each governor’s net approval rating in the latest Morning Consult poll and his or her state’s partisan lean. Some governors are right in line with the partisanship of their states, such as Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee (a +18 net approval rating in D+13 Washington). But others have brands that distinguish them from their parties and make them way more popular (or unpopular) than partisanship alone would predict.

We can quantify each governor’s “Popularity Above Replacement Governor” (or PARG) by measuring the distance between their net approval rating and their state’s partisan lean.

Like his second-worst net approval rating in the country, Gov. Dan Malloy (D-Conn.) also has the second-worst PARG in the nation. That’s because he’s not a Republican governor suffering poor approval ratings in a Democratic state. He’s a Democrat suffering poor net approval in a Democratic state.

Malloy’s PARG is -62, meaning he has a -50-point net approval rating, but the state’s partisan leaning is Democrat +12. A ‘replacement [Democratic] governor’ would be expected to have a net approval rating of +12 percentage points.

Just another measure proving Malloy is uniquely unpopular in blue Connecticut.