Economy

This Is America's Least Popular Senator

The control of both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate are both up for grabs this year. Since President Biden was elected, the Democrats have controlled both. Polls show that the House is likely to be controlled by Republicans next year. The composition of the Senate is harder to determine. There are too many tight races to predict what the party mix will be.

While polls are an imperfect way to predict Senate elections, they are the only constant outside source of data. And they can sway voters. A tight race, based on polls, may bring out people to tip the scales.

While public sentiment towards Capitol Hill is overwhelmingly negative, Americans tend to judge their own senators with a greater degree of leniency. According to a 2022 survey conducted by public opinion research company Morning Consult, all but a handful of U.S. senators have a net-positive favorability rating. Still, most senators also have approval ratings below 50%.

Using polling data from Morning Consult, 24/7 Wall St. identified the least popular U.S. senator. Senators were ranked by their approval rating, and in the case of a tie, the senator with a higher disapproval rating ranks higher.

Public approval of senators is subject to a wide range of factors, including policy positions, their state’s economic health, and even their personality. While earning the approval of their constituents is the most effective way for senators to remain in office, in areas where voter turnout is low, controversial and even unpopular lawmakers can still win elections.

The least popular senator is Mitch McConnell (R) of Kentucky. Here are the details:

  • Popularity: 33% approve, 60% disapprove
  • Current term ends: 2027
  • November 2020 voter participation in Kentucky: 65.3% (15th highest)
  • 2021 state unemployment: 4.7%

Methodology: To identify America’s least popular senator, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed approval and disapproval ratings for all 100 U.S. senators from Morning Consult, a public opinion data research company. In cases where two or more senators have the same approval and disapproval rating, the senator from the state where polls were taken from a larger sample size of registered voters ranks higher.

All polling data was collected among registered voters in the state represented by the senator in question in the first quarter of 2022.

We also reviewed the unemployment rate by state from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the share of voters who participated on election day in 2020 from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey.


Click here to see all of America’s least popular senators.

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