U.S. Senators: Who’s tops and who’s not

April 17, 2018

During the first quarter of 2018, Bernie Sanders (Independent-Vermont) was rated the most popular Senator in the United States, with 72% approval from voters. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Republican-Kentucky) came in dead last, with 52% disapproval.

Both rankings were based on a survey of more than 275,000 registered U.S. voters, conducted from January 1 through March 31, by Morning Consult  and released on April 12.

The Green Mountain State’s senators seem to have what it takes, grabbing the two preeminent slots overall. The senators from South Dakota and Wyoming—coming in at numbers three and seven; and five and six, respectively—also are supporting the voters’ agenda.

The full list of the top ten Senators (with the highest approval ratings nationwide, as established by Morning Consult) is as follows:

  1. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont): 72% approval
  2. Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont): 65%
  3. John Thune (R-South Dakota): 62%
  4. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota): 60%
  5. Michael Enzi (R-Wyoming): 59%
  6. John Barrasso (R-Wyoming): 59%
  7. Mike Rounds (R-South Dakota) 58%
  8. Angus King (I-Maine) 58%
  9. John Hoeven (R-North Dakota); 57%
  10. Jon Tester: D-Montana): 56%

On the down side, net approval for Mitch McConnell actually rose by three points during the first quarter, with 52% disapproving and 34% approving of his job performance. He remains the least popular senator.

Both senators from Arizona registered high disapproval ratings, coming in at numbers two and three. The list of the bottom ten senators is as follows:

  1. Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky): 52% disapproval
  2. Jeff Flake (R-Arizona): 50%
  3. John McCain (R-Arizona): 48%
  4. Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri): 44%
  5. Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia): 44%
  6. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin): 42%
  7. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska): 42%
  8. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) 41%
  9. Richard Durbin (D-Illinois): 40%
  10. Dean Heller (R-Nevada): 40%

The eight senators with the biggest declines last quarter—a net drop of nine points each or more—are all Democrats.

Joe Manchin, West Virginia, who is up for re-election in a state where 58% of voters approved of President Donald Trump during the first quarter, now finds himself  one point underwater— 43% approve, 44% disapprove—after a net slide of 17 points from fourth quarter, the biggest decline of any senator during that period.

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, North Dakota, suffered a net decline of nine points, although she still has the approval of 47% of her constituents.

Hawaii’s Mazie Hirono and Brian Schatz  each dropped 13 points, while New Mexico Senators Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall fell nine points and ten points, respectively. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (New York) and Senator Tom Carper of Delaware also slid nine points each.

Research contact: ceasley@morningconsult.com

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