New Hampshire voters give Gov. Chris Sununu a 70 percent approval rating, the highest during his tenure as governor.

The new poll, conducted by the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at St. Anselm College, finds that just three months after a blue wave midterm election washed in an all-Democrat congressional delegation and Democrat-controlled legislature, the Republican governor is the most popular elected official in the state.

“Thrilled to see that 70% of Granite Staters approve of the job that we’re doing!,” Sununu tweeted on his personal account.

US Senator Jeanne Shaheen has a 60 percent job approval, Sen. Maggie Hassan’s at 55 percent, newly-elected Rep. Chris Pappas sits at 49 percent and Rep. Annie Kuster brings up the rear at 50 percent.

Sununu personal popularity is slightly lower at 64 percent, but it’s still higher than any other prominent New Hampshire politician, according to NHIOP’s  Executive Director Neil Levesque. “New Hampshire’s elected officials start off this cycle in strong shape. Governor Chris Sununu is currently the most popular politician in the state, with 64% of voters reporting a favorable impression of him. Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan are at 57% and 53% respectively. In the House delegation, Freshman Congressman Chris Pappas has carried over his personal popularity from the campaign and is at 56% favorability, with Congresswoman Annie Kuster at 46%.”

Sununu has consistently polled as one of the most popular governors in the nation, along with fellow Republicans Charlie Baker of Massachusetts and Larry Hogan of Maryland. But even for Sununu, 70 percent is a noteworthy number.

The secret of Sununu’s success isn’t a 94 percent job approval rating from Republicans, but getting 74 percent of independents on board. Perhaps just as significant, fewer than 20 percent of independents disapprove of the job Sununu’s doing — an important metric at a time when negative partisanship is perhaps the most powerful political force.

And at a time when Democrats are engaged in identity politics, Sununu is more popular among women voters than Sen. Shaheen, Sen. Hassan and Rep. Kuster. In fact, his approval among women has increased 9 percent over the past year, even after a heated re-election campaign against Democrat Molly Kelly.

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