One of the highest ranking members in the Senate is now matched with the highest disapproval rating out of all of his colleagues, according to the latest poll from Morning Consult. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) received a whopping 50 percent unfavorable rating and is the only senator to have at least half of his constituency view him negatively.
Morning Consult’s Senate approval rankings are published quarterly, and Thursday’s results are its first insight into the 116th Congress.
Twenty-two senators can boast of an approval rating 50 percent or above, but McConnell is the only senator with at least half his constituents rating him unfavorably.
While he has the highest disapproval rating, the Kentucky majority leader is seventh in lowest approval rating behind colleagues such as Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) that have high “never heard of” scores. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) has the second-highest unfavorable rating with 43 percent.
McConnell also has the fourth-lowest approval rating among Republican voters only, with only 58 percent of GOP voters in his state giving him a nod.
The most popular senators
The top 10 highest-ranking senators include two 2020 Democratic presidential candidates and the only two independent senators.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) tops the list with a 61 percent approval rating in his state. His high local approval reflects well in early 2020 primary polls where he slides just under former Vice President Joe Biden as the highest-polling candidate. Another 2020 candidate, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), also appears in the top 10 as the third most-liked senator with 58 percent of people giving her the thumbs up.
Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) takes fourth place, followed by Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) in fifth, who has the highest approval rating out of any Republican.
McConnell’s high disapproval rating, both in general and among Republicans, could be bad news for the senator’s reelection campaign in 2020.
According to Politico, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) spoke to former congressional candidate and Marine fighter pilot veteran Amy McGrath back in February about challenging McConnell. She is reportedly considering the idea.
McGrath lost her 2018 congressional bid to incumbent Rep. Andy Barr (R-Ky.). But she still won 47.8 percent of the vote — an impressive amount in a deep red state with just one Democrat in Congress. Now, McConnell’s seat seems increasingly vulnerable with his low favorability, especially considering his approval rating decreased and disapproval rating increased since Morning Consult’s previous January poll.
Morning Consult conducted 472,802 surveys between January and March to determine this quarter’s rankings.