When it comes to senators’ approval ratings among their own constituents, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) is officially the most unpopular.
That’s according to a poll recently published by Morning Consult, which surveyed a random sample of voters in all 50 states asking them about their own senators. In the poll, which measured how popular or unpopular a senator is “with voters in their own state,” the Senate Majority Leader had an approval rating of just 36% and a disapproval rating of 50%.
Mitch McConnell beat out even Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) in being unpopular among constituents. Collins became a pariah in her state after being the deciding vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court in spite of sexual assault survivors from Maine who personally pleaded with her to oppose his confirmation. Currently, Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon (D) is seen as Collins’ most high-profile challenger in 2020. Mitch McConnell has two challengers so far — former Congressional candidate and Marine veteran Amy McGrath, and farmer Mike Broihier, who is also a Marine veteran.
Rounding out the top ten are Senators Bob Menendez (D-New Jersey), who escaped corruption charges in 2018; Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia), who joined Republicans in confirming Brett Kavanaugh; Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts), who is a top-tier presidential candidate; Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska); Jon Tester (D-Montana); Roy Blunt (R-Missouri); Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), who recently blocked an amendment to fast-track a permanent extension of 9/11 first responders’ healthcare benefits; and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee during Kavanaugh’s tense confirmation proceedings.
Among the most popular senators in the United States are Senators Angus King (I-Maine), Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), who is one of the front-runners in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary; Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), John Hoeven (R-North Dakota), and John Barasso (R-Wyoming). The remainder of the top ten most popular are Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota), who is also running for president; Michael Enzi (R-Wyoming), who is retiring prior to 2020; John Thune (R-South Dakota), Jeanne Shaheen (D-New Hampshire), and Ed Markey (D-Massachusetts).
Mitch McConnell’s ranking as the #1 most unpopular senator is mostly in line with a survey of Kentucky voters published by left-leaning pollster Public Policy Polling in February, which found that Kentucky’s senior senator had just 33% approval among his own constituents at the time. Potential Kentucky senatorial candidate Matt Jones — a prominent sports announcer in the commonwealth — told Grit Post that the survey “showcases that Senator McConnell has lost touch with the people of his state.”
Tom Cahill is a contributor for Grit Post who covers political and economic news. He lives in Bend, Oregon. Send him an email at tom DOT v DOT cahill AT gmail DOT com.