Politics

Following Tensions with Trump, McConnell’s Approval Rating Plummets to Just 18% in Kentucky

“Now, with tough legislative battles ahead and waning support at home, some are speculating that McConnell may be forced to step aside.”

Mitch McConnell may be the Senate Majority leader, but he might want to start freshening up his resume because he may soon find himself without a job. The long-time Kentucky Senator’s job approval rating has dropped to just 18% in his own home state according to a recent poll by Public Policy Polling. The stunning fall from grace comes after public clashes with President Donald Trump, and may hint at the inevitable end of McConnell’s career as a public servant.

74% of Kentucky voters now disapprove of McConnell. Perhaps more tellingly, only 37% of Kentuckians said that they would vote for the embattled senator if an election were held today, while 44% said they’d vote for a rival Democrat. Members of Congress frequently suffer from low national approval ratings while enjoying relatively high approval at home. This trend has helped keep McConnell cemented in office despite being unpopular nationally. Now, it appears that the Senator has lost the support of his constituents as well.

While McConnell is now deeply unpopular in Kentucky, Trump enjoys widespread support, with 60% of Kentuckians approving of his job performance. 36% disapprove of the job the President is doing. Nationally, however, most polls indicate that the majority of Americans currently disapprove of the President and the performance of his administration.

The long-time Kentucky Senator’s job approval rating has dropped to just 18%

McConnell and President Donald Trump have had an uneasy relationship at times, but have generally gotten along. However, Trump has been highly critical of McConnell and the Republican Senate for failing to pass health care reforms. McConnell, for his part, has questioned Trump for his “excessive expectations.” Now, with tough legislative battles ahead and waning support at home, some are speculating that McConnell may be forced to step aside.

McConnell’s Senate Leadership Fund has also been pushing back against Kelli Ward, who is running in the Senate race in Arizona. Ward is taking on incumbent Jeff Flake, who has emerged as perhaps the strongest Trump critic in the Republican Congress. The Senator has repeatedly lambasted Trump, even going as far as to release a book critical of the President.

Trump has been pushing for Flake’s defeat in the Arizona Senate race. Like McConnell, Flake suffers from a low approval rating at home. A poll released by Public Policy Polling earlier this month showed that Flake also suffered a job approval rating of just 18%. Kelli Ward, meanwhile, was labeled “Chemtrail Kelly” by a TV ad pushed by the Senate Leadership Fund. Even in the face of strong resistance from the establishment, however, Ward stands a good chance of upsetting Flake.

For his part, Trump won Arizona in 2016 with 48.1% of the vote to Hillary Clinton’s 44.6%. The battle between Flake and Ward could turn into a proxy battle of sorts between the President and the GOP establishment. While Trump is more popular in Arizona than Flake, 53% of voters still disapprove of the job the President is doing, versus 44% who approve. Given the above poll numbers, Democrats could also try to stage a strong race in Arizona come 2018.

Brian Brinker

Brian Brinker is an OpsLens Contributor and political consultant. Brinker has an M.A in Global Affairs from American University.

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