Photo via Gov. Larry Hogan/Twitter

A new poll places Maryland’s governor near the top of a list of the United States’ most popular governors.

Gov. Larry Hogan emerged as second only to Republican Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker in an approval ratings-based poll of 85,000 U.S. residents by Morning Consult. Baker edged out Hogan with a 75 percent approval mark from his state’s voters, two points higher than the Maryland governor’s score.

The poll asked residents of all 50 states how they felt about their governor from January through March, coinciding with the bulk of most states’ legislative sessions. The share of Marylanders who said they approve of the job Hogan is doing was roughly 10 points higher than the percentage from a February Goucher College poll, but nearly equal to the tally from a Gonzales poll published in January.

As Morning Consult noted, Hogan and Baker have something in common: They’re not hard-liners. As Republican governors in heavily Democratic states, both are willing to cross party lines and compromise in certain cases, and also have a habit of surprising their conservative supporters and colleagues.

Take Hogan’s support of a full-on fracking ban this spring as an example, or his willingness to work with Democrats to help bail out the city’s school system from a massive funding deficit for 2017-18.

Maryland’s governor has also held on to strong support by not aligning himself too closely with our controversy-ridden president. Last year, Hogan refused to endorse the real estate mogul even after he had unofficially won the primary, skipped a chance to meet with Trump at the Republican National Convention and even opted to write in his own father on election day.

Hogan has met with the president on multiple occasions since he took office, though he’s generally deflected questions about the president’s most controversial actions, such as his ill-fated travel ban.

At the bottom of the list, meanwhile, sits New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who’s still haunted by his Bridgegate scandal and his adamant early support for Trump, which notably still didn’t get him a job in the president’s administration.

Hogan can start approaching campaign season for the 2018 gubernatorial election with high approval ratings to stand on. Democrats, meanwhile, are still weeding out who will be their best candidate to challenge him for the governor’s seat.

Ethan McLeod is a freelance reporter in Baltimore. He previously worked as an editor for the Baltimore Business Journal and Baltimore Fishbowl. His work has appeared in Bloomberg CityLab, Next City and...