Politics

29 US Senators Whose Popularity Is on the Rise

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For the U.S. Senate, 2023 was a year marked by gridlock and scandal. Last year, productivity in the upper chamber hit a historic low, as the senate enacted only 40 public bills into law, by far the fewest in at least two decades. Additionally, in October 2023, following allegations he had accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes from Egyptian officials as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Bob Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, became the first member of Congress to be charged with working as an agent of a foreign power.

Not surprisingly, the legislative branch’s public image is suffering. Gallup polling data shows that over 50% of all American adults have little to no confidence in Congress, compared to fewer than 30% over most of the survey’s history, going back to the early 1970s. Meanwhile, a separate Gallup survey found that only 32% of Americans have a “great deal” or “fair amount” of trust in Congress, the smallest share of any of the nine government institutions or actors included in the poll. (Here is a look at the U.S. Senators doing the least in office.)

But even as public trust in confidence in the U.S. Congress is hovering near all-time lows, there are individual senators who have managed to distinguish themselves and improve their standings with voters in the last year.

Using survey data from public opinion research company Morning Consult, 24/7 Wall St. identified the sitting U.S. senators who are gaining popularity. Senators are ranked on the percentage point change in their approval rating in the 12 months from the first quarter of 2023 to the first quarter of 2024. Only senators with approval ratings that gained at least 1 percentage point since early 2023 were considered.

Of the 29 U.S. senators on this list, approval ratings have climbed by as much as 13 percentage points. Of these senators, 14 are Democratic, 15 are Republican, and, should they choose to run, 12 are up for reelection this November. (Here is a look at the most important issues to voters for the November 2024 election.)

Despite rising approval ratings, not all senators on this list are especially popular. For example, even though her approval rating climbed by 1.8 percentage points in the last year, Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine remains underwater in the polls, with a disapproval rating that outweighs her approval numbers. Additionally, despite a positive 2.7 percentage point popularity swing in the last year, Sen. J.D. Vance, a Republican from Ohio, has an approval rating of only 42.2%, the ninth lowest of any sitting U.S. Senator.

Why It Matters

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Confidence in government institutions has eroded substantially in recent years. In the U.S. Senate, recent corruption scandals and legislative gridlock have done little to improve public perception. Despite widespread dissatisfaction with the most powerful chamber in the legislative branch, many senators have managed to distinguish themselves from their colleagues and win the approval of a larger share of their constituents in the last 12 months.

29. Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado

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  • 1-yr. change in approval rating: +1.2 ppt.
  • Q1 2024 popularity: 48.6% approve; 30.0% disapprove
  • Q1 2023 popularity: 47.4% approve; 33.2% disapprove
  • Current term ends on: Jan. 3, 2029
  • Party affiliation: Democratic

28. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts

Source: Paul Zimmerman / Getty Images
  • 1-yr. change in approval rating: +1.2 ppt.
  • Q1 2024 popularity: 52.8% approve; 36.1% disapprove
  • Q1 2023 popularity: 51.6% approve; 38.3% disapprove
  • Current term ends on: Jan. 3, 2025
  • Party affiliation: Democratic

27. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina

  • 1-yr. change in approval rating: +1.3 ppt.
  • Q1 2024 popularity: 44.3% approve; 43.8% disapprove
  • Q1 2023 popularity: 43.0% approve; 47.0% disapprove
  • Current term ends on: Jan. 3, 2027
  • Party affiliation: Republican

26. Sen. Christopher Murphy of Connecticut

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  • 1-yr. change in approval rating: +1.3 ppt.
  • Q1 2024 popularity: 55.9% approve; 31.1% disapprove
  • Q1 2023 popularity: 54.6% approve; 32.4% disapprove
  • Current term ends on: Jan. 3, 2025
  • Party affiliation: Democratic

25. Sen. Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma

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  • 1-yr. change in approval rating: +1.3 ppt.
  • Q1 2024 popularity: 48.9% approve; 29.7% disapprove
  • Q1 2023 popularity: 47.5% approve; 27.6% disapprove
  • Current term ends on: Jan. 3, 2027
  • Party affiliation: Republican

24. Sen. Robert Casey of Pennsylvania

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  • 1-yr. change in approval rating: +1.4 ppt.
  • Q1 2024 popularity: 46.2% approve; 32.5% disapprove
  • Q1 2023 popularity: 44.8% approve; 31.6% disapprove
  • Current term ends on: Jan. 3, 2025
  • Party affiliation: Democratic

23. Sen. Eric Schmitt of Missouri

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  • 1-yr. change in approval rating: +1.5 ppt.
  • Q1 2024 popularity: 45.6% approve; 31.1% disapprove
  • Q1 2023 popularity: 44.2% approve; 32.0% disapprove
  • Current term ends on: Jan. 3, 2029
  • Party affiliation: Republican

22. Sen. Katie Britt of Alabama

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  • 1-yr. change in approval rating: +1.7 ppt.
  • Q1 2024 popularity: 50.8% approve; 24.2% disapprove
  • Q1 2023 popularity: 49.1% approve; 22.4% disapprove
  • Current term ends on: Jan. 3, 2029
  • Party affiliation: Republican

21. Sen. Mike Braun of Indiana

Source: Aaron P. Bernstein / Getty Images
  • 1-yr. change in approval rating: +1.7 ppt.
  • Q1 2024 popularity: 45.0% approve; 33.0% disapprove
  • Q1 2023 popularity: 43.2% approve; 35.0% disapprove
  • Current term ends on: Jan. 3, 2025
  • Party affiliation: Republican

20. Sen. Mike Lee of Utah

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  • 1-yr. change in approval rating: +1.7 ppt.
  • Q1 2024 popularity: 48.2% approve; 37.2% disapprove
  • Q1 2023 popularity: 46.4% approve; 38.5% disapprove
  • Current term ends on: Jan. 3, 2029
  • Party affiliation: Republican

19. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine

  • 1-yr. change in approval rating: +1.8 ppt.
  • Q1 2024 popularity: 42.9% approve; 51.0% disapprove
  • Q1 2023 popularity: 41.1% approve; 52.5% disapprove
  • Current term ends on: Jan. 3, 2027
  • Party affiliation: Republican

18. Sen. Jon Ossoff of Georgia

Source: U.S. Senator for Georgia Jon Ossoff met with Soldiers in South Korea 2023 02 by UNC - CFC - USFK / BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)
  • 1-yr. change in approval rating: +1.9 ppt.
  • Q1 2024 popularity: 47.6% approve; 35.6% disapprove
  • Q1 2023 popularity: 45.7% approve; 36.5% disapprove
  • Current term ends on: Jan. 3, 2027
  • Party affiliation: Democratic

17. Sen. Joshua Hawley of Missouri

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  • 1-yr. change in approval rating: +2.0 ppt.
  • Q1 2024 popularity: 46.1% approve; 35.5% disapprove
  • Q1 2023 popularity: 44.1% approve; 37.7% disapprove
  • Current term ends on: Jan. 3, 2025
  • Party affiliation: Republican

16. Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey

  • 1-yr. change in approval rating: +2.0 ppt.
  • Q1 2024 popularity: 49.1% approve; 34.9% disapprove
  • Q1 2023 popularity: 47.0% approve; 36.9% disapprove
  • Current term ends on: Jan. 3, 2027
  • Party affiliation: Democratic

15. Sen. Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming

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  • 1-yr. change in approval rating: +2.1 ppt.
  • Q1 2024 popularity: 62.6% approve; 23.8% disapprove
  • Q1 2023 popularity: 60.5% approve; 28.4% disapprove
  • Current term ends on: Jan. 3, 2027
  • Party affiliation: Republican

14. Sen. Martin Heinrich of New Mexico

  • 1-yr. change in approval rating: +2.3 ppt.
  • Q1 2024 popularity: 45.1% approve; 34.8% disapprove
  • Q1 2023 popularity: 42.7% approve; 33.8% disapprove
  • Current term ends on: Jan. 3, 2025
  • Party affiliation: Democratic

13. Sen. Ben Lujan of New Mexico

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  • 1-yr. change in approval rating: +2.4 ppt.
  • Q1 2024 popularity: 46.0% approve; 35.6% disapprove
  • Q1 2023 popularity: 43.6% approve; 36.9% disapprove
  • Current term ends on: Jan. 3, 2027
  • Party affiliation: Democratic

12. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas

Source: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images
  • 1-yr. change in approval rating: +2.4 ppt.
  • Q1 2024 popularity: 48.0% approve; 42.5% disapprove
  • Q1 2023 popularity: 45.5% approve; 44.9% disapprove
  • Current term ends on: Jan. 3, 2025
  • Party affiliation: Republican

11. Sen. J.D. (James) Vance of Ohio

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  • 1-yr. change in approval rating: +2.7 ppt.
  • Q1 2024 popularity: 42.2% approve; 35.2% disapprove
  • Q1 2023 popularity: 39.4% approve; 33.5% disapprove
  • Current term ends on: Jan. 3, 2029
  • Party affiliation: Republican

10. Sen. John Hickenlooper of Colorado

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  • 1-yr. change in approval rating: +2.8 ppt.
  • Q1 2024 popularity: 50.7% approve; 34.3% disapprove
  • Q1 2023 popularity: 47.9% approve; 34.8% disapprove
  • Current term ends on: Jan. 3, 2027
  • Party affiliation: Democratic

9. Sen. Shelley Capito of West Virginia

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  • 1-yr. change in approval rating: +2.8 ppt.
  • Q1 2024 popularity: 48.7% approve; 33.4% disapprove
  • Q1 2023 popularity: 45.9% approve; 38.2% disapprove
  • Current term ends on: Jan. 3, 2027
  • Party affiliation: Republican

8. Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska

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  • 1-yr. change in approval rating: +2.9 ppt.
  • Q1 2024 popularity: 50.6% approve; 34.5% disapprove
  • Q1 2023 popularity: 47.7% approve; 45.9% disapprove
  • Current term ends on: Jan. 3, 2029
  • Party affiliation: Republican

7. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York

Source: Michael Loccisano / Getty Images
  • 1-yr. change in approval rating: +2.9 ppt.
  • Q1 2024 popularity: 49.4% approve; 30.6% disapprove
  • Q1 2023 popularity: 46.5% approve; 31.8% disapprove
  • Current term ends on: Jan. 3, 2025
  • Party affiliation: Democratic

6. Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah

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  • 1-yr. change in approval rating: +3.2 ppt.
  • Q1 2024 popularity: 49.8% approve; 40.3% disapprove
  • Q1 2023 popularity: 46.6% approve; 43.3% disapprove
  • Current term ends on: Jan. 3, 2025
  • Party affiliation: Republican

5. Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio

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  • 1-yr. change in approval rating: +3.3 ppt.
  • Q1 2024 popularity: 47.4% approve; 34.8% disapprove
  • Q1 2023 popularity: 44.1% approve; 34.6% disapprove
  • Current term ends on: Jan. 3, 2025
  • Party affiliation: Democratic

4. Sen. John Fetterman of Pennsylvania

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  • 1-yr. change in approval rating: +3.4 ppt.
  • Q1 2024 popularity: 46.8% approve; 40.4% disapprove
  • Q1 2023 popularity: 43.4% approve; 39.8% disapprove
  • Current term ends on: Jan. 3, 2029
  • Party affiliation: Democratic

3. Sen. John Reed of Rhode Island

  • 1-yr. change in approval rating: +3.7 ppt.
  • Q1 2024 popularity: 58.1% approve; 26.6% disapprove
  • Q1 2023 popularity: 54.4% approve; 27.5% disapprove
  • Current term ends on: Jan. 3, 2027
  • Party affiliation: Democratic

2. Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming

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  • 1-yr. change in approval rating: +11.6 ppt.
  • Q1 2024 popularity: 74.2% approve; 18.0% disapprove
  • Q1 2023 popularity: 62.6% approve; 27.1% disapprove
  • Current term ends on: Jan. 3, 2025
  • Party affiliation: Republican

1. Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia

Source: Drew Angerer / Getty Images
  • 1-yr. change in approval rating: +13.0 ppt.
  • Q1 2024 popularity: 50.4% approve; 41.9% disapprove
  • Q1 2023 popularity: 37.4% approve; 55.2% disapprove
  • Current term ends on: Jan. 3, 2025
  • Party affiliation: Democratic

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