Special Report

Least Popular Senators in America

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Distrust in government institutions is surging in the United States. According to a recent Gallup poll, only 25% of American adults had a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in the U.S. Supreme Court in 2022, down from 36% in 2021. Meanwhile, confidence in the U.S. presidency fell from 38% to 23% over the same period. While these latest confidence ratings mark all-time lows, no government entity is less trusted than the U.S. Congress.

Only 7% of American adults have a high-level of confidence in Congress, a 5 percentage point decline from 2021 and the lowest rating of all 16 major institutions covered in the survey.

The U.S. Senate is the most powerful chamber of Congress, and widespread distrust of the institution as a whole is partially reflected in the American people’s perception of their own elected representatives. While no sitting senator is less popular than the legislative branch as a whole, most have approval ratings below 50%. (Here is a look at the 24 members of Congress who didn’t last 100 days.)

Using Morning Consult polling data, 24/7 Wall St. identified the 50 least popular senators in America. Senators were ranked by their 2023 approval rating in 2023. Ties were broken by disapproval ratings, and in cases where senators shared the same approval and disapproval rating, the senator with the largest survey sample size ranked higher.

Approval ratings among the 50 least popular senators range from as low as 28% to no more than 48%. Twenty one of the least popular senators are Democrats, 28 are Republicans, and one is an Independent.

By and large, the American people are fed up by partisan gridlock on Capitol Hill. According to a December 2022 NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll, 74% of adults want their lawmakers to find solutions through compromise. Despite these findings, many sitting U.S. senators who have broken with party orthodoxy are not held in high regard by their constituents.

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, for example, switched her party affiliation from Democrat to independent in December 2022. And with a 42% approval rating and 44% disapproval rating, she now ranks as the ninth least popular senator. Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, meanwhile, has repeatedly stood in the way of President Joe Biden’s policy initiatives and is often the lone voice of descent among senators in his party. Manchin’s approval rating of 38% is the second lowest in the chamber. Both Sens. Sinema and Manchin face an uphill battle for reelection in 2024, should they choose to run.

But, with an approval rating of just 28%, Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Republican minority leader, is by far the least popular sitting U.S. senator. Support for Donald Trump has been a political litmus test in the eyes of many voters, and McConnell has broken with many of his Republican colleagues by condemning the former president’s role in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack. (Here is a look at America’s most popular senators.)

Click here to see the least popular senators in America.

Click here to see our detailed methodology.

50. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) of Alaska
> Popularity: 48% approve, 46% disapprove
> Final year of current term: 2029
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 75.6% (25th highest of 50 states)
> State unemployment rate, 2022: 4.0%

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49. Sen. Markwayne Mullin (R) of Oklahoma
> Popularity: 47% approve, 28% disapprove
> Final year of current term: 2027
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 69.0% (7th lowest of 50 states)
> State unemployment rate, 2022: 3.0%

48. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D) of New York
> Popularity: 47% approve, 32% disapprove
> Final year of current term: 2025
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 74.5% (22nd lowest of 50 states)
> State unemployment rate, 2022: 4.3%

47. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D) of Oregon
> Popularity: 47% approve, 33% disapprove
> Final year of current term: 2027
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 84.7% (2nd highest of 50 states)
> State unemployment rate, 2022: 4.2%

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46. Sen. Michael Bennet (D) of Colorado
> Popularity: 47% approve, 33% disapprove
> Final year of current term: 2029
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 85.0% (the highest of 50 states)
> State unemployment rate, 2022: 3.0%

45. Sen. Jerry Moran (R) of Kansas
> Popularity: 47% approve, 34% disapprove
> Final year of current term: 2029
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 78.1% (19th highest of 50 states)
> State unemployment rate, 2022: 2.7%

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44. Sen. Richard Durbin (D) of Illinois
> Popularity: 47% approve, 35% disapprove
> Final year of current term: 2027
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 75.3% (25th lowest of 50 states)
> State unemployment rate, 2022: 4.6%

43. Sen. Timothy Kaine (D) of Virginia
> Popularity: 47% approve, 36% disapprove
> Final year of current term: 2025
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 71.7% (18th lowest of 50 states)
> State unemployment rate, 2022: 2.9%

42. Sen. Cory Booker (D) of New Jersey
> Popularity: 47% approve, 37% disapprove
> Final year of current term: 2027
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 71.6% (17th lowest of 50 states)
> State unemployment rate, 2022: 3.7%

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41. Sen. Bill Cassidy (R) of Louisiana
> Popularity: 47% approve, 38% disapprove
> Final year of current term: 2027
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 71.1% (16th lowest of 50 states)
> State unemployment rate, 2022: 3.7%

40. Sen. Mitt Romney (R) of Utah
> Popularity: 47% approve, 43% disapprove
> Final year of current term: 2025
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 78.4% (15th highest of 50 states)
> State unemployment rate, 2022: 2.3%

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39. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) of Michigan
> Popularity: 46% approve, 36% disapprove
> Final year of current term: 2025
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 82.1% (8th highest of 50 states)
> State unemployment rate, 2022: 4.2%

38. Sen. Jon Ossoff (D) of Georgia
> Popularity: 46% approve, 37% disapprove
> Final year of current term: 2027
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 82.0% (9th highest of 50 states)
> State unemployment rate, 2022: 3.0%

37. Sen. Shelley Capito (R) of West Virginia
> Popularity: 46% approve, 38% disapprove
> Final year of current term: 2027
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 61.3% (the lowest of 50 states)
> State unemployment rate, 2022: 3.9%

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36. Sen. Mike Lee (R) of Utah
> Popularity: 46% approve, 39% disapprove
> Final year of current term: 2029
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 78.4% (15th highest of 50 states)
> State unemployment rate, 2022: 2.3%

35. Sen. Joni Ernst (R) of Iowa
> Popularity: 46% approve, 40% disapprove
> Final year of current term: 2027
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 70.2% (10th lowest of 50 states)
> State unemployment rate, 2022: 2.7%

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34. Sen. Ted Cruz (R) of Texas
> Popularity: 46% approve, 45% disapprove
> Final year of current term: 2025
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 72.0% (19th lowest of 50 states)
> State unemployment rate, 2022: 3.9%

33. Sen. Robert Casey (D) of Pennsylvania
> Popularity: 45% approve, 31% disapprove
> Final year of current term: 2025
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 83.4% (5th highest of 50 states)
> State unemployment rate, 2022: 4.4%

32. Sen. Tina Smith (D) of Minnesota
> Popularity: 45% approve, 33% disapprove
> Final year of current term: 2027
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 82.3% (7th highest of 50 states)
> State unemployment rate, 2022: 2.7%

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31. Sen. Deb Fischer (R) of Nebraska
> Popularity: 45% approve, 37% disapprove
> Final year of current term: 2025
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 70.6% (12th lowest of 50 states)
> State unemployment rate, 2022: 2.3%

30. Sen. Pete Ricketts (R) of Nebraska
> Popularity: 45% approve, 38% disapprove
> Final year of current term: 2027
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 70.6% (12th lowest of 50 states)
> State unemployment rate, 2022: 2.3%

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29. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) of California
> Popularity: 45% approve, 38% disapprove
> Final year of current term: 2025
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 76.6% (22nd highest of 50 states)
> State unemployment rate, 2022: 4.2%

28. Sen. Steve Daines (R) of Montana
> Popularity: 45% approve, 39% disapprove
> Final year of current term: 2027
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 80.9% (11th highest of 50 states)
> State unemployment rate, 2022: 2.6%

27. Sen. Rick Scott (R) of Florida
> Popularity: 45% approve, 41% disapprove
> Final year of current term: 2025
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 77.5% (20th highest of 50 states)
> State unemployment rate, 2022: 2.9%

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26. Sen. Alex Padilla (D) of California
> Popularity: 44% approve, 27% disapprove
> Final year of current term: 2029
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 76.6% (22nd highest of 50 states)
> State unemployment rate, 2022: 4.2%

25. Sen. Eric Schmitt (R) of Missouri
> Popularity: 44% approve, 32% disapprove
> Final year of current term: 2029
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 69.6% (8th lowest of 50 states)
> State unemployment rate, 2022: 2.5%

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24. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) of Ohio
> Popularity: 44% approve, 35% disapprove
> Final year of current term: 2025
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 70.7% (14th lowest of 50 states)
> State unemployment rate, 2022: 4.0%

23. Sen. Ben Lujan (D) of New Mexico
> Popularity: 44% approve, 37% disapprove
> Final year of current term: 2027
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 79.7% (13th highest of 50 states)
> State unemployment rate, 2022: 4.0%

22. Sen. Roger Marshall (R) of Kansas
> Popularity: 44% approve, 37% disapprove
> Final year of current term: 2027
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 78.1% (19th highest of 50 states)
> State unemployment rate, 2022: 2.7%

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21. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R) of Mississippi
> Popularity: 44% approve, 37% disapprove
> Final year of current term: 2027
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 63.9% (3rd lowest of 50 states)
> State unemployment rate, 2022: 3.9%

20. Sen. Joshua Hawley (R) of Missouri
> Popularity: 44% approve, 38% disapprove
> Final year of current term: 2025
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 69.6% (8th lowest of 50 states)
> State unemployment rate, 2022: 2.5%

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19. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D) of Wisconsin
> Popularity: 44% approve, 42% disapprove
> Final year of current term: 2025
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 84.2% (4th highest of 50 states)
> State unemployment rate, 2022: 2.9%

18. Sen. Gary Peters (D) of Michigan
> Popularity: 43% approve, 33% disapprove
> Final year of current term: 2027
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 82.1% (8th highest of 50 states)
> State unemployment rate, 2022: 4.2%

17. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D) of New Mexico
> Popularity: 43% approve, 34% disapprove
> Final year of current term: 2025
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 79.7% (13th highest of 50 states)
> State unemployment rate, 2022: 4.0%

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16. Sen. Roger Wicker (R) of Mississippi
> Popularity: 43% approve, 35% disapprove
> Final year of current term: 2025
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 63.9% (3rd lowest of 50 states)
> State unemployment rate, 2022: 3.9%

15. Sen. Mike Braun (R) of Indiana
> Popularity: 43% approve, 35% disapprove
> Final year of current term: 2025
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 63.1% (2nd lowest of 50 states)
> State unemployment rate, 2022: 3.0%

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14. Sen. John Fetterman (D) of Pennsylvania
> Popularity: 43% approve, 40% disapprove
> Final year of current term: 2029
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 83.4% (5th highest of 50 states)
> State unemployment rate, 2022: 4.4%

13. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R) of South Carolina
> Popularity: 43% approve, 47% disapprove
> Final year of current term: 2027
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 69.7% (9th lowest of 50 states)
> State unemployment rate, 2022: 3.2%

12. Sen. Jacky Rosen (D) of Nevada
> Popularity: 42% approve, 36% disapprove
> Final year of current term: 2025
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 78.2% (16th highest of 50 states)
> State unemployment rate, 2022: 5.4%

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11. Sen. Todd Young (R) of Indiana
> Popularity: 42% approve, 36% disapprove
> Final year of current term: 2029
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 63.1% (2nd lowest of 50 states)
> State unemployment rate, 2022: 3.0%

10. Sen. John Cornyn (R) of Texas
> Popularity: 42% approve, 37% disapprove
> Final year of current term: 2027
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 72.0% (19th lowest of 50 states)
> State unemployment rate, 2022: 3.9%

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9. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I) of Arizona
> Popularity: 42% approve, 44% disapprove
> Final year of current term: 2025
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 79.9% (12th highest of 50 states)
> State unemployment rate, 2022: 3.8%

8. Sen. Susan Collins (R) of Maine
> Popularity: 41% approve, 53% disapprove
> Final year of current term: 2027
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 84.3% (3rd highest of 50 states)
> State unemployment rate, 2022: 3.0%

7. Sen. Robert Menendez (D) of New Jersey
> Popularity: 40% approve, 39% disapprove
> Final year of current term: 2025
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 71.6% (17th lowest of 50 states)
> State unemployment rate, 2022: 3.7%

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6. Sen. Ron Johnson (R) of Wisconsin
> Popularity: 40% approve, 52% disapprove
> Final year of current term: 2029
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 84.2% (4th highest of 50 states)
> State unemployment rate, 2022: 2.9%

5. Sen. J.D. Vance (R) of Ohio
> Popularity: 39% approve, 34% disapprove
> Final year of current term: 2029
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 70.7% (14th lowest of 50 states)
> State unemployment rate, 2022: 4.0%

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4. Sen. Ted Budd (R) of North Carolina
> Popularity: 39% approve, 37% disapprove
> Final year of current term: 2029
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 75.0% (24th lowest of 50 states)
> State unemployment rate, 2022: 3.7%

3. Sen. Thom Tillis (R) of North Carolina
> Popularity: 38% approve, 41% disapprove
> Final year of current term: 2027
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 75.0% (24th lowest of 50 states)
> State unemployment rate, 2022: 3.7%

2. Sen. Joe Manchin (D) of West Virginia
> Popularity: 38% approve, 55% disapprove
> Final year of current term: 2025
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 61.3% (the lowest of 50 states)
> State unemployment rate, 2022: 3.9%

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1. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R) of Kentucky
> Popularity: 28% approve, 64% disapprove
> Final year of current term: 2027
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 72.8% (20th lowest of 50 states)
> State unemployment rate, 2022: 3.9%

Methodology

To identify America’s least popular senators, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed approval and disapproval ratings for all 100 U.S. senators from Morning Consult, a public opinion data research company. Senators are ranked by their approval rating and, when possible, ties were broken by disapproval rating.

All polling data was collected among registered voters in the state represented by the senator in question in the first quarter of 2023.

We also reviewed the 2022 unemployment rate by state from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the share of registered voters who participated on election day in 2022 from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey.

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