The votes are in, the ballots counted, and now it’s official. The GOP’s very own Mitch McConnell—up until now, known primarily for his razor sharp political instincts and his rakish wit—is America’s least popular senator:
According to Morning Consult’s latest Senator Approval Rankings – compiled from a poll of 255,120 registered voters in 50 states from July 1 to Sept. 30 – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is yet again America’s least popular senator.
In Kentucky, one-third of voters approve of McConnell’s job performance, while 55 percent of voters said they disapprove — more than any other senator.
McConnell’s net approval, the difference in his approval and disapproval percentages, dropped 15 percentage points, the third-largest drop in the Senate, from the second quarter, according to the survey. The slide came as he failed to advance Obamacare repeal — a key pillar of the GOP’s political agenda since the law’s enactment in 2010.
This ranking, by the way, puts McConnell well behind Democrat Bob Menendez, who registered only 41% disapproval from his constituents—and he’s on trial for corruption. Granted, Menendez is from New Jersey so they grade on a curve over there, but come on! A guy who’s about to spend the next three to five years playing Shawshank with a hairy cellmate named Dutch is outpolling the distinguished gentleman from Kentucky? For the second time? Right about now, Harry Reid must be kicking himself for retiring.
Still, it’s not all bad news. Congress is held in somewhat low esteem by most of the American people—at around 13% approval, their popularity hovers somewhere between OJ Simpson and Harvey Weinstein—so it’s not like McConnell is alone in his public disdain. On the other hand, to be the most reviled in that particular rogues gallery is quite the achievement. It’s kind of like being voted the Uday Hussein of the Senate: “You thought the other guys are bad, but look at me!” If not for all the Chamber of Commerce and insurance company lobbyists on Capitol Hill, McConnell might start to feel unloved.
Might I suggest some couples therapy, before Republican voters get tired of waiting for McConnell to break it off with the establishment and keep his campaign vows? Actually advancing a conservative agenda would be a good show of faith. Right now, tax reform is out there like a big bouquet of flowers and a yuge box of chocolates, just waiting to charm the pants off your base. They won’t play hard to get if you’re ready to show them some real commitment.
Otherwise, they’ll just keep asking, “What have you done for me lately?” And they’re not going to like the answer.