Courtesy Gov. Larry Hogan’s Office

The 2018 election season isn’t a great time to be a Democratic gubernatorial candidate in Maryland, if you’re going by the polls.

Sixty-eight percent of the state’s voters approve of Republican Gov. Larry Hogan’s job in his nearly three years in office so far, according to a poll published today by D.C.-based polling firm Morning Consult. That’s the second-best approval mark in the country behind Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, another Republican governor in a vastly blue state.

It’s also the same spot that Hogan was in several months ago, albeit five points lower. (To be fair, all of the top 10 spots in the July poll had lower ratings compared to April.)

Hogan and Baker have retained their high ratings by treading lightly on their Democratic voter bases: they’ve neglected to vocally support their controversial Republican president, and have also avoided supporting a failed effort in Congress to tear out and replace Obamacare. (Many will recall that Hogan also refused to support Donald Trump during his presidential bid, opting instead to vote for his father on Election Day.)

For reference, New Jersey’s Chris Christie and Kansas’ Sam Brownback carried the bottom of the list of governors in the July poll, both logging approval ratings of just 25 percent in their home states.

The list of Hogan’s Democratic competitors for his seat in Annapolis next year is nearly complete. So far, Prince George’s Co. Executive Rushern Baker, former NAACP president Ben Jealous, Montgomery County state Sen. Richard Madaleno, Baltimore tech entrepreneur Alec Ross and local attorney Jim Shea have all entered the race.

Politics watchers are still waiting to see if Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, former Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler and U.S. Rep. John Delaney will join the fray. The Democratic primary is set for June 26, 2018.

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...