Gov. John Carney gets a so-so grade when it came to his response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The site is a joint effort of Northeastern University, Harvard University, Rutgers University, and Northwestern University
Carney’s rating trails governors in two neighboring states. Both New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, D-New Jersey, and Gov. Larry Hogan R-Maryland have markedly higher approval ratings.
Hogan and Murphy preside over states that have not seen as big an uptick in Covid-19 cases. At the time of the poll (late June) Delaware was dealing with an outbreak of Covid-19 in coastal Sussex County.
Carney took a middle-of-the-road stance (by East Coast standards) when it came to the reopening of the state. He was not as cautious as Murphy, who saw north Jersey become part of the Tri-State epicenter of the coronavirus crisis in the spring.
Carney’s popularity began to decline as the reopening process began and the rate of increase in cases ticked up.(The solid line of the accompanying graphic shows Carney’s rating from the beginning of the crisis to late June. The line below is President Trump’s declining approval rating in Delaware over his handling of Covid-19.To view a full-size version of the map, click here.)
Carney’s middling popularity may be the reason why we have seen a half a dozen GOP candidates for governor decide to square off in the September primary. Nearly all reside south of the canal, the center of the reopen Delaware movement.
Carney’s reopening strategy has been closer to the reopening stance of moderate Republican Hogan. That left Carney wedged between Delawareans who thought the state reopened too rapidly and those who felt the state should let it roll.
Still, Carney is faring better than Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, who came in below 50 percent.
With the exception of Republican governors like Hogan, Ohio’s Mike DeWine and Charlie Baker in Massachusetts, Democrats, like Carney, tend to fare better than their Republican counterparts.
Taking the biggest beating in popularity is Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, who has a 32 percent rating as the state saw a spike in Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations.
CovidStates has been running its poll every couple of months. It will be interesting to see the results in late summer or early fall. – Doug Rainey, Delaware Business Now chief content officer.