Special Report

US Senators Who Lost the Most Popularity

Sarah Silbiger / Getty Images News via Getty Images

The U.S. Senate is the most powerful lawmaking body in the United States, and in recent years, it has become one of the most dysfunctional and least trusted institutions in American government. Decades of growing partisanship in the Senate chamber have made compromise a dirty word – and legislative gridlock the status quo – on Capitol Hill. Partially as a result, only 39% of adults have at least some trust in the U.S. Congress, down from 48% in early 2021, according to polling data from public opinion research company Morning Consult

Just as the reputation of the Senate body has suffered in recent years, individual senators have also paid a price. Earning and maintaining public confidence is critical for any elected official who wants to keep their job. However, of the 92 sitting U.S. senators who held office in mid-2021, 40 have seen their approval rating dip over the last two years. (These are the most partisan issues in American politics, ranked.)

Using survey data from Morning Consult, 24/7 Wall St. identified the U.S. senators who are losing popularity. The senators are ranked on the percentage point change in their approval rating over the two-year period from the second quarter of 2021 to the second quarter of 2023. 

Of the 40 U.S. senators on this list, 27 are Republican, 11 are Democrats, two are independents. Ten of the 40 are up for reelection in 2024, should they choose to run. Among them, approval ratings have slipped by anywhere from 1 percentage point in the last two years, to 8 percentage points. 

Although every senator on this list is less popular with their constituents now than they were two years ago, many still maintain a large support base. Bernie Sanders, for example, an independent senator from Vermont, remains one of the most popular lawmakers in the chamber with a 63% approval rating – despite seeing an 8 point drop in popularity over the last two years.

Still, several senators on this list are now underwater in the polls, with their disapproval ratings outweighing their approval numbers. Notably, these senators include Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia, and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky – senators whose popularity dipped by 5 points and 2 points, respectively, since mid-2021. 

McConnel, not popular among Democrats and independents to begin with, alienated members of his own party when he condemned Donald Trump for his role in the Jan. 6 insurrection. Manchin, meanwhile, was scorned by Democratic voters for holding up elements of President Biden’s policy agenda. (These are the states where Biden policies could create the most jobs.)

Click here to see US senators who are losing popularity.

Click here to see our detailed methodology.

Source: statephotos / Flickr

40. Senator Edward Markey of Massachusetts (D)
> 2-yr. change in approval rating: -1 pp.
> Q2 2023 popularity: 55% approve; 28% disapprove
> Q2 2021 popularity: 56% approve; 28% disapprove
> Current term ends on: Jan. 3, 2027
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 76.7% (21st highest of 50 states)

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Source: Drew Angerer / Getty Images News via Getty Images

39. Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina (R)
> 2-yr. change in approval rating: -1 pp.
> Q2 2023 popularity: 54% approve; 30% disapprove
> Q2 2021 popularity: 55% approve; 28% disapprove
> Current term ends on: Jan. 3, 2029
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 69.7% (9th lowest of 50 states)

Source: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images News via Getty Images

38. Senator Thomas Carper of Delaware (D) – tied
> 2-yr. change in approval rating: -1 pp.
> Q2 2023 popularity: 53% approve; 28% disapprove
> Q2 2021 popularity: 54% approve; 27% disapprove
> Current term ends on: Jan. 3, 2025
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 70.8% (15th lowest of 50 states)

Source: Pool / Getty Images News via Getty Images

37. Senator James Lankford of Oklahoma (R) – tied
> 2-yr. change in approval rating: -1 pp.
> Q2 2023 popularity: 53% approve; 28% disapprove
> Q2 2021 popularity: 54% approve; 29% disapprove
> Current term ends on: Jan. 3, 2029
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 69.0% (7th lowest of 50 states)

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Source: Pool / Getty Images News via Getty Images

36. Senator Tommy Tuberville of Alabama (R)
> 2-yr. change in approval rating: -1 pp.
> Q2 2023 popularity: 52% approve; 29% disapprove
> Q2 2021 popularity: 53% approve; 28% disapprove
> Current term ends on: Jan. 3, 2027
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 67.5% (5th lowest of 50 states)

35. Senator John Boozman of Arkansas (R)
> 2-yr. change in approval rating: -1 pp.
> Q2 2023 popularity: 51% approve; 29% disapprove
> Q2 2021 popularity: 52% approve; 27% disapprove
> Current term ends on: Jan. 3, 2029
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 70.7% (13th lowest of 50 states)

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34. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida (R)
> 2-yr. change in approval rating: -1 pp.
> Q2 2023 popularity: 50% approve; 38% disapprove
> Q2 2021 popularity: 51% approve; 36% disapprove
> Current term ends on: Jan. 3, 2029
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 77.5% (20th highest of 50 states)

Source: Scott Olson / Getty Images News via Getty Images

33. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky (R)
> 2-yr. change in approval rating: -1 pp.
> Q2 2023 popularity: 48% approve; 40% disapprove
> Q2 2021 popularity: 49% approve; 38% disapprove
> Current term ends on: Jan. 3, 2029
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 72.8% (20th lowest of 50 states)

Source: Zach Gibson / Getty Images News via Getty Images

32. Senator Mike Braun of Indiana (R)
> 2-yr. change in approval rating: -1 pp.
> Q2 2023 popularity: 46% approve; 34% disapprove
> Q2 2021 popularity: 47% approve; 31% disapprove
> Current term ends on: Jan. 3, 2025
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 63.1% (2nd lowest of 50 states)

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31. Senator Tina Smith of Minnesota (D)
> 2-yr. change in approval rating: -1 pp.
> Q2 2023 popularity: 45% approve; 33% disapprove
> Q2 2021 popularity: 46% approve; 35% disapprove
> Current term ends on: Jan. 3, 2027
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 82.3% (7th highest of 50 states)

Source: Joe Raedle / Getty Images News via Getty Images

30. Senator Jerry Moran of Kansas (R)
> 2-yr. change in approval rating: -1 pp.
> Q2 2023 popularity: 45% approve; 35% disapprove
> Q2 2021 popularity: 46% approve; 31% disapprove
> Current term ends on: Jan. 3, 2029
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 78.1% (19th highest of 50 states)

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Source: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images News via Getty Images

29. Senator Jon Ossoff of Georgia (D)
> 2-yr. change in approval rating: -1 pp.
> Q2 2023 popularity: 45% approve; 36% disapprove
> Q2 2021 popularity: 46% approve; 40% disapprove
> Current term ends on: Jan. 3, 2027
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 82.0% (9th highest of 50 states)

Source: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

28. Senator Joshua Hawley of Missouri (R)
> 2-yr. change in approval rating: -1 pp.
> Q2 2023 popularity: 44% approve; 39% disapprove
> Q2 2021 popularity: 45% approve; 38% disapprove
> Current term ends on: Jan. 3, 2025
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 69.6% (8th lowest of 50 states)

27. Senator Susan Collins of Maine (R)
> 2-yr. change in approval rating: -1 pp.
> Q2 2023 popularity: 43% approve; 50% disapprove
> Q2 2021 popularity: 44% approve; 51% disapprove
> Current term ends on: Jan. 3, 2027
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 84.3% (3rd highest of 50 states)

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Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

26. Senator Roger Marshall of Kansas (R)
> 2-yr. change in approval rating: -1 pp.
> Q2 2023 popularity: 41% approve; 37% disapprove
> Q2 2021 popularity: 42% approve; 37% disapprove
> Current term ends on: Jan. 3, 2027
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 78.1% (19th highest of 50 states)

Source: Samuel Corum / Getty Images News via Getty Images

25. Senator Chris Coons of Delaware (D)
> 2-yr. change in approval rating: -2 pp.
> Q2 2023 popularity: 52% approve; 31% disapprove
> Q2 2021 popularity: 54% approve; 32% disapprove
> Current term ends on: Jan. 3, 2027
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 70.8% (15th lowest of 50 states)

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Source: Astrid Riecken / Getty Images News via Getty Images

24. Senator Chris Van Hollen of Maryland (D)
> 2-yr. change in approval rating: -2 pp.
> Q2 2023 popularity: 50% approve; 24% disapprove
> Q2 2021 popularity: 52% approve; 21% disapprove
> Current term ends on: Jan. 3, 2029
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 76.5% (23rd highest of 50 states)

Source: Alex Wong / Getty Images News via Getty Images

23. Senator Rick Scott of Florida (R)
> 2-yr. change in approval rating: -2 pp.
> Q2 2023 popularity: 47% approve; 40% disapprove
> Q2 2021 popularity: 49% approve; 38% disapprove
> Current term ends on: Jan. 3, 2025
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 77.5% (20th highest of 50 states)

22. Senator Martin Heinrich of New Mexico (D)
> 2-yr. change in approval rating: -2 pp.
> Q2 2023 popularity: 45% approve; 36% disapprove
> Q2 2021 popularity: 47% approve; 32% disapprove
> Current term ends on: Jan. 3, 2025
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 79.7% (13th highest of 50 states)

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Source: Drew Angerer / Getty Images

21. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi (R)
> 2-yr. change in approval rating: -2 pp.
> Q2 2023 popularity: 43% approve; 39% disapprove
> Q2 2021 popularity: 45% approve; 35% disapprove
> Current term ends on: Jan. 3, 2027
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 63.9% (3rd lowest of 50 states)

20. Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky (R)
> 2-yr. change in approval rating: -2 pp.
> Q2 2023 popularity: 32% approve; 61% disapprove
> Q2 2021 popularity: 34% approve; 59% disapprove
> Current term ends on: Jan. 3, 2027
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 72.8% (20th lowest of 50 states)

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19. Senator Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming (R)
> 2-yr. change in approval rating: -3 pp.
> Q2 2023 popularity: 60% approve; 22% disapprove
> Q2 2021 popularity: 63% approve; 24% disapprove
> Current term ends on: Jan. 3, 2027
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 78.1% (18th highest of 50 states)

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

18. Senator Ben Lujan of New Mexico (D)
> 2-yr. change in approval rating: -3 pp.
> Q2 2023 popularity: 45% approve; 37% disapprove
> Q2 2021 popularity: 48% approve; 32% disapprove
> Current term ends on: Jan. 3, 2027
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 79.7% (13th highest of 50 states)

Source: 64860478@N05 / Flickr / Public Domain

17. Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi (R)
> 2-yr. change in approval rating: -3 pp.
> Q2 2023 popularity: 44% approve; 34% disapprove
> Q2 2021 popularity: 47% approve; 29% disapprove
> Current term ends on: Jan. 3, 2025
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 63.9% (3rd lowest of 50 states)

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Source: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

16. Senator Todd Young of Indiana (R)
> 2-yr. change in approval rating: -3 pp.
> Q2 2023 popularity: 43% approve; 35% disapprove
> Q2 2021 popularity: 46% approve; 30% disapprove
> Current term ends on: Jan. 3, 2029
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 63.1% (2nd lowest of 50 states)

15. Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona (I)
> 2-yr. change in approval rating: -3 pp.
> Q2 2023 popularity: 42% approve; 43% disapprove
> Q2 2021 popularity: 45% approve; 37% disapprove
> Current term ends on: Jan. 3, 2025
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 79.9% (12th highest of 50 states)

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Source: Joe Raedle / Getty Images

14. Senator John Hoeven of North Dakota (R)
> 2-yr. change in approval rating: -4 pp.
> Q2 2023 popularity: 55% approve; 27% disapprove
> Q2 2021 popularity: 59% approve; 30% disapprove
> Current term ends on: Jan. 3, 2029
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 68.9% (6th lowest of 50 states)

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

13. Senator John Reed of Rhode Island (D)
> 2-yr. change in approval rating: -4 pp.
> Q2 2023 popularity: 54% approve; 25% disapprove
> Q2 2021 popularity: 58% approve; 24% disapprove
> Current term ends on: Jan. 3, 2027
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 73.2% (21st lowest of 50 states)

Source: Scott Eisen / Getty Images News via Getty Images

12. Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire (D)
> 2-yr. change in approval rating: -4 pp.
> Q2 2023 popularity: 52% approve; 35% disapprove
> Q2 2021 popularity: 56% approve; 35% disapprove
> Current term ends on: Jan. 3, 2027
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 81.3% (10th highest of 50 states)

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Source: Pete Marovich / Getty Images News via Getty Images

11. Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas (R)
> 2-yr. change in approval rating: -4 pp.
> Q2 2023 popularity: 51% approve; 33% disapprove
> Q2 2021 popularity: 55% approve; 33% disapprove
> Current term ends on: Jan. 3, 2027
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 70.7% (13th lowest of 50 states)

Source: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

10. Senator Steve Daines of Montana (R)
> 2-yr. change in approval rating: -4 pp.
> Q2 2023 popularity: 51% approve; 37% disapprove
> Q2 2021 popularity: 55% approve; 31% disapprove
> Current term ends on: Jan. 3, 2027
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 80.9% (11th highest of 50 states)

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Source: Leigh Vogel / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

9. Senator Mike Lee of Utah (R)
> 2-yr. change in approval rating: -4 pp.
> Q2 2023 popularity: 49% approve; 39% disapprove
> Q2 2021 popularity: 53% approve; 28% disapprove
> Current term ends on: Jan. 3, 2029
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 78.4% (15th highest of 50 states)

8. Senator Michael Crapo of Idaho (R)
> 2-yr. change in approval rating: -4 pp.
> Q2 2023 popularity: 46% approve; 40% disapprove
> Q2 2021 popularity: 50% approve; 36% disapprove
> Current term ends on: Jan. 3, 2029
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 74.7% (23rd lowest of 50 states)

Source: Win McNamee / Getty Images News via Getty Images

7. Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina (R)
> 2-yr. change in approval rating: -4 pp.
> Q2 2023 popularity: 45% approve; 44% disapprove
> Q2 2021 popularity: 49% approve; 42% disapprove
> Current term ends on: Jan. 3, 2027
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 69.7% (9th lowest of 50 states)

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Source: Pool / Getty Images News via Getty Images

6. Senator Kevin Cramer of North Dakota (R)
> 2-yr. change in approval rating: -5 pp.
> Q2 2023 popularity: 47% approve; 36% disapprove
> Q2 2021 popularity: 52% approve; 35% disapprove
> Current term ends on: Jan. 3, 2025
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 68.9% (6th lowest of 50 states)

5. Senator John Cornyn of Texas (R)
> 2-yr. change in approval rating: -5 pp.
> Q2 2023 popularity: 43% approve; 35% disapprove
> Q2 2021 popularity: 48% approve; 33% disapprove
> Current term ends on: Jan. 3, 2027
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 72.0% (19th lowest of 50 states)

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Source: Sarah Silbiger / Getty Images News via Getty Images

4. Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia (D)
> 2-yr. change in approval rating: -5 pp.
> Q2 2023 popularity: 39% approve; 55% disapprove
> Q2 2021 popularity: 44% approve; 47% disapprove
> Current term ends on: Jan. 3, 2025
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 61.3% (the lowest of 50 states)

Source: Stefani Reynolds / Getty Images News via Getty Images

3. Senator James Risch of Idaho (R)
> 2-yr. change in approval rating: -6 pp.
> Q2 2023 popularity: 46% approve; 33% disapprove
> Q2 2021 popularity: 52% approve; 34% disapprove
> Current term ends on: Jan. 3, 2027
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 74.7% (23rd lowest of 50 states)

Source: Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images News via Getty Images

2. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont (I)
> 2-yr. change in approval rating: -8 pp.
> Q2 2023 popularity: 63% approve; 36% disapprove
> Q2 2021 popularity: 71% approve; 26% disapprove
> Current term ends on: Jan. 3, 2025
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 82.4% (6th highest of 50 states)

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Source: Anna Moneymaker / Getty Images News via Getty Images

1. Senator Shelley Capito of West Virginia (R)
> 2-yr. change in approval rating: -8 pp.
> Q2 2023 popularity: 48% approve; 36% disapprove
> Q2 2021 popularity: 56% approve; 28% disapprove
> Current term ends on: Jan. 3, 2027
> Registered voters who participated in Nov. 2022 midterm election: 61.3% (the lowest of 50 states)

Methodology

To identify the U.S. senators who are losing popularity, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the percentage point change in approval ratings for all 92 sitting U.S. senators in mid-2021. Senators are ranked on their decline in approval rating from Q2 2021 to Q2 2023, based on data from Morning Consult. In cases where two or more senators have the same change in approval rating, the senator with the lower current approval rating ranks worse. In cases where both approval rating change and current approval rating are the same, ties were broken with change in disapproval rating. 

Supplementary data on 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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