A new survey from a left-leaning pollster shows Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) may be in jeopardy of losing his re-election bid in 2020.
Public Policy Polling (PPP) recently surveyed a sample of 748 registered Kentucky voters. 46 percent of those surveyed identified as Democrats, 44 percent affiliated with the Republican Party, and the remainder identified as independents. While President Trump remains popular (59 percent of respondents approved of his job performance, and 61 percent of respondents voted for him in 2016), Sen. McConnell is not.
Just 33 percent of respondents approved of McConnell’s job performance, according to the poll. 56 percent of Kentucky voters disapproved, and 11 percent were unsure. And if the 2020 election were held today, only 45 percent of those surveyed said they would vote for him. 42 percent said they would vote for the Democratic nominee, and 12 percent were on the fence. However, the very next question suggested McConnell has a lot of work to do to win back his constituents in the commonwealth.
“Generally speaking, do you think Senator Mitch McConnell deserves to be re-elected, or do you think it’s time for someone new?”
61 percent of respondents said it was time for someone new.
Only 32 percent of Kentucky voters surveyed wanted to keep McConnell. And among those surveyed, 50 percent said they voted for McConnell in his 2014 re-election campaign, suggesting the senator’s role in prolonging the recent record-long government shutdown may have had an impact on his approval rating.
Kentucky Sports Radio host Matt Jones — who is rumored to run against McConnell in 2020 — told Grit Post that the poll “showcases that Senator McConnell has lost touch with the people of his state.”
“Even in a place where a Republican president remains quite popular, voters can see that the Senate Majority Leader does not have their best interests at heart,” Jones said.
The poll was done on behalf of the Ditch Mitch Fund, a group devoted to ousting McConnell in 2020, and had a margin of error of 3.6 percent. However, the fact that Republicans made up nearly half of the poll sample and that McConnell was still only popular with a third of respondents suggests that Kentucky’s senior senator may end up losing the seat he’s held since 1985.
Carl Gibson is a politics contributor for Grit Post. His work has previously been published in The Guardian, The Washington Post, The Houston Chronicle, Al-Jazeera America, and NPR, among others. Follow him on Twitter @crgibs or send him an email at carl at gritpost dot com.