Following last month’s civil unrest on Capitol Hill, Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has publicly distanced himself from former President Donald Trump on multiple occasions.
The public break with Trump might have earned him some scant praise from the other side of the aisle but it did him no favors in terms of his standing within the GOP base.
Polling reveals extent of McConnell’s unpopularity
Just the News published its recent poll, conducted with Scott Rasmussen, that shows McConnell’s favorability rating had dropped while his unfavorable numbers soared in recent weeks.
The survey spanned Feb. 18-20 and included 1,200 registered voters with a margin of error listed at about 2.8%.
McConnell received a favorable rating from just 21% of respondents, compared to an unfavorability rating of 69%.
Compared to the Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), the chamber’s top Republican is considerably less popular. While Schumer has only a marginally higher favorability rating of 28%, he has a much lower unfavorability rating of just 44%.
Similarly, Schumer’s popularity compares poorly to his fellow GOP leader in the lower chamber. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who has aligned more closely to Trump, had a favorability rating of 25% in the poll with an unfavorable score of just 36%.
“Dour, sullen, and unsmiling”
Other surveys show roughly the same results, including the RealClearPolitics average of polls that currently shows McConnell’s favorability at just under 21% and his unfavorability at about 63%.
The drop in support is especially clear when comparing the current average to RealClearPolitics’ polling data from about three months ago. Around the time of the November elections, McConnell’s favorability ratings consistently fell in the 30% range with unfavorability hovering in the 40s or 50s.
Of course, these are national polls and his standings are somewhat better among his constituents in Kentucky. Nevertheless, a poll of Kentucky voters earlier this month found that he was still underwater in terms of favorability despite having recently won another six-year term in the Senate.
Even as 41% of Kentuckians viewed McConnell approvingly compared to 53% who did not, his junior colleague, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), received virtually inverse marks with 53% approval and 44% disapproval.
Trump himself has made it clear where he stands on the GOP leader, issuing a scathing response to recent remarks from McConnell. The 45th president called him a “dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack” who does not deserve to have a position of leadership within the party.