Congress

Poll: McConnell is least popular senator in chamber he leads

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., center, Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., left, and Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas, right, arrive for a media availability on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., center, Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., left, and Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas, right, arrive for a media availability on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016. AP

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has the highest disapproval rating of all 100 U.S. Senators, according to a poll by Morning Consult, a Washington-based political newsletter.

The poll found that 51 percent of Kentuckians disapprove of their senior senator, while 39 percent approve of the Republican.

Kentucky’s junior senator, Republican Rand Paul, fared better in the poll, with 48 percent of Kentuckians approving and 35 percent disapproving.

Paul, who ran for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, is running for re-election this year against Lexington Mayor Jim Gray, a Democrat.

Morning Consult surveyed 71,900 voters across the country from May to September on the job performance of their senators.

51 Percentage of Kentuckians who disapprove of Sen. Mitch McConnell

48 Percentage of Kentuckians who approve of Sen. Rand Paul

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent whose bid for the Democratic presidential nomination attracted a loyal following, had the highest approval, at 87 percent.

Sen. Susan Collins, a moderate Maine Republican, was the most popular senator in her party, at 69 percent approval.

The least popular Democrat was McConnell’s counterpart, minority leader Harry Reid of Nevada, at 43 percent disapproval. Reid is retiring this year.

Reid tied with Kansas Republican Sen. Pat Roberts.

Other notable Republicans who ranked low among their constituents: Sen. John McCain of Arizona, at 42 percent disapproval, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida at 41 percent and Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina at 40 percent.

McCain was the 2008 Republican presidential nominee. Rubio and Graham sought the party’s nomination this year. McCain and Rubio are both up for re-election in November.

Curtis Tate: 202-383-6018, @tatecurtis

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