DemDaily: The Country’s Most (and Least) Popular Senators

May 2, 2024

The most popular Democrat in the United States Senate is Hawaii's Brian Schatz with a 65% approval rating, followed by Vermont Senators Bernie Sanders (Ind) and Peter Welch.

Other top Democrats in Morning Consult's quarterly survey include Mazie Hirono (HI), newcomers Jack Reed (RI) and Chris Murphy (CT), and Angus King -- who like Sanders, is an Independent caucusing with the Democrats.

The most popular Republican and top-ranked Senator is John Barrasso, with a 74% approval rating, followed by fellow Wyoming Senator Cynthia Lummis at 63%. Louisiana Senator John Kennedy, who is new to the list, rounds up the top ten with 55%.

Barasso, Hirono, Murphy, Sanders and King all face safe reelection contests in November.

The ratings are based on a Morning Consult survey of registered voters conducted January 1 - March 30 in all 50 states (MOE +/- 4%). The publication has polled voters since 2017, with reports published quarterly.

On the other end of the list, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell remains America’s most unpopular Senator for the 13th consecutive quarter -- with roughly 3 in 5 Kentucky voters expressing disapproval of his job performance.

Republicans dominate the top ten list of most unpopular Senators, including Susan Collins (ME), Ron Johnson (WI), Lindsay Graham (SC), Joni Ernst (IA) and Ted Cruz (TX).

Cruz, who is underwater with a 43% disapproval rating, faces a serious challenge from Congressman Colin Allred (D) who is trailing Cruz on average by 8%.

Embattled Democratic Senator Bob Menendez is the most unpopular Democrat with 58% of New Jersey voters disapproving of his performance. Menendez, who is facing federal corruption charges, announced he is not running for reelection in 2024 as a Democrat, but reportedly mulling an independent bid.

In the swing state of Arizona, Kyrsten Sinema -- who left the Democratic party in 2022 to become an Independent and ranks fifth among her unpopular colleagues -- announced in March that she will not be running for reelection.

West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, who was facing a tough challenge in his heavily Republican state, announced in February that he will not seek reelection.

Senator Tammy Baldwin, who is running for a third term in the critical battleground state of Wisconsin, ranked 9th with a 44% approval - 42% disapproval rating. An April 19-24 CBS/YouGov poll shows Baldwin leading likely GOP nominee Eric Hovde by 7%. The primary is August 13.

Vulnerable v. Biden
While Democrats are defending the top seven battleground states -- Arizona, Montana, Ohio, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan -- all are outperforming President Biden in approval ratings. In addition, In every one of those Senate seats, the Democratic candidate is significantly outraising their top Republican opponent.

DemList will keep you informed.

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Kimberly Scott

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