Gov. Josh Shapiro is still popular in Pa., even with some Trump supporters

Democratic Gov. Josh Shapiro continues to be widely popular among Pennsylvanians — including more than a third of former President Donald Trump’s supporters — as President Joe Biden struggles in the state, according to a new poll from The Inquirer, the New York Times, and Siena College.

About 57% of Pennsylvanians strongly or somewhat approve of Shapiro’s leadership, according to the poll. When split down by party, 77% of Democrats, 42% of Republicans, and 39% of independent voters have positive opinions about the job Shapiro is doing in his first term as the battleground state’s governor.

Biden, meanwhile, has only a 38% approval rating, according to the poll conducted April 28 through May 7.

Shapiro has support from a majority of people across every racial and education line, according to the poll.

The moderate Democrat’s support among Trump and third-party voters is significant: Shapiro maintains a positive rating from 35% of Pennsylvania voters planning to vote for Trump in November and a likely majority from voters who said they’d vote for independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

It’s a sign that Shapiro could be a formidable candidate if he pursues a presidential run in 2028.

“He’s not too radical, he actually seems to try to work with both parties,” said Michael Paletta, 64, a registered Republican who supports Trump but also approves of Shapiro.

“He’s been running for president since he became attorney general eight years ago,” said Paletta, who lives in Mars, Butler County. “He’s as good as anyone else. He’s at least younger and he understands, he’s not 80 years old.”

Shapiro has maintained unusually high approval ratings for a Pennsylvania governor of any party at this point in his term, even as he is the only governor in the country who has to work with a divided legislature with each party controlling one chamber. He continues to promise to govern across the aisle, and advocates for a handful of Republican priorities he’s tried to implement, such as private school vouchers.

Shapiro, 50, has become a national fixture in the Democratic Party and is among the top candidates Democrats are eyeing to run for president in 2028. He now serves as one of Biden’s top surrogates campaigning for his reelection in the battleground state.

Shapiro first piqued national Democrats’ interest when he was elected state attorney general in 2016, just as former President Donald Trump also won the state. While AG, he released a historic grand jury report detailing decades of abuse in the Roman Catholic Church, and he played a central role in defending Pennsylvania from Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election — all of which raised his national profile.

The Abington native and father of four cemented his central role to the party in 2022, after he was elected governor by 15 percentage points over far-right Republican State Sen. Doug Mastriano. In his first year and a half in office, he’s also gotten national attention for his administration’s reopening of I-95 in 12 days after it collapsed and his outspokenness against the former president of the University of Pennsylvania over her comments before Congress, and more.

Burton Siegel, 80, a registered Democrat from Jenkintown, said he’s known Shapiro since the governor was a boy. He praised the governor for signing an executive order on his first day in office that eliminated a four-year college degree requirement for most state government jobs.

“To bring more people into government, I think not to create a barrier that might not be relevant to your performance of the job is also a good thing to do,” Siegel said. “And I think he provided an opportunity for a lot of people who wanted to be public servants but couldn’t because they didn’t have B.A.”

Other top potential contenders for the 2028 Democratic presidential primary include the executives of other major states: Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, California Gov. Gavin Newsom, and Maryland Gov. Wes Moore.

While the nation’s electorate has strong opinions about the candidates for president, voters largely have a positive view of their own governor, according to statistics-based website 538.

Shapiro’s ability to attract Trump and third-party voters in one of the nation’s decisive battleground states, however, will give him a persuasive pitch if he decides to pursue higher office.

Before serving as attorney general and governor, Shapiro was a county commissioner in Montgomery County, a suburb of Philadelphia with more than 864,000 residents.

Before his election, the county had been a Republican stronghold, and Shapiro was influential in establishing it as a top Democratic destination in the state. He also served as a state representative, first elected at age 30, and he gained a reputation for cutting bipartisan deals.

Shapiro is Pennsylvania’s third Jewish governor, and one of four Jewish governors across the country. The United States has never elected a Jewish president.

Shivani Gonzalez of the New York Times contributed to this article.

Clarification: This story has been updated to clarify that Gov. Shapiro is the only governor in the country with a divided legislature.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *