New poll shows McConnell tops list of most unpopular senators

 January 12, 2023

Congress as a whole is generally held in low regard by most Americans, but some individual members of the legislative body are particularly viewed with more contempt than most of their other colleagues.

A recent poll revealed that, in the Senate, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is the least popular among all 100 elected members of the deliberative upper chamber, Breitbart reported.

In fact, nearly two-thirds of those polled disapproved of the Kentucky senator's job performance compared to slightly less than one-third who signaled their approval of McConnell's performance as the top Republican in the Senate.

Most unpopular senators

Between October and December of 2022, the pollsters at Morning Consult conducted surveys of unspecified representative samples of registered voters in each of the 50 states to measure the approval and popularity of each of the 100 members of the Senate.

In terms of the most unpopular senators, Sen. McConnell was without question at the top of the list, and it wasn't even particularly close.

McConnell earned the dubious honor of having both the lowest job approval rating at 29 percent as well as the highest disapproval rating of 64 percent.

The next most unpopular senators were the mercurial moderate Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), with 40 percent approval to 53 percent disapproval, followed by conservative firebrand Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), with 42 percent approval and 53 percent disapproval.

Rounding out the rest of the top five most unpopular senators were Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME), 44 percent to 52 percent, and Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ), 37 percent to 48 percent, both of whom have routinely disappointed their respective partisan bases and are largely viewed with distrust by members of the opposition party.

Why is McConnell so widely despised?

Sen. McConnell's exceptionally poor showing in that Morning Consult poll is not an anomaly, either, as the RealClearPolitics average of polls for the Kentucky senator had his average favorability pegged as low as 20.8 percent compared to an unfavorability of 54.8 percent, a net negative spread of -34 percentage points.

Some might ask why McConnell's job approval and favorability ratings are so low for someone who has been re-elected to multiple terms in office and has been a mainstay of Republican leadership for so long, but it is actually that longevity -- or perhaps more accurately, the things that have occurred under his watch -- that has led to his being despised by much of the American public.

According to Breitbart, "Under McConnell’s GOP leadership, the national debt has risen by nearly $20 trillion, illegal immigration has continued, and real wages for American workers have not increased. Obamacare was enacted in 2010. Big banks were bailed out in 2008, and social media companies have silenced individuals without repercussions. In 2022, McConnell has also approved $100 billion in aid for Ukraine."

To be sure, McConnell is but one out of 100 senators and, as an individual, cannot be saddled with all of the blame for those and other things.

That said, he is also the top Republican leader in the Senate who wields tremendous power and influence and arguably could have done so much more to rally and support both conservative and moderate resistance to at least some of the above issues but, for various possible reasons, either declined or utterly failed to do so.

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