Things Get Worse for Mitch McConnell as Poll Finds He Is America’s Most Unpopular Senator

Last updated on April 12th, 2013 at 10:29 pm

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A secret audio tape leak, and now a new PPP poll has added to Mitch McConnell’s woes by revealing that he is the most unpopular senator in the entire country.

Senate Minority Leader McConnell wasted no time trying to spin the secret audio tape leak as a plot by Democrats who have bugged his office, but McConnell’s pandering to right wing paranoia is a smokescreen.

Sen. McConnell’s real problem is that he is the most unpopular senator in the entire country. PPP found that as he heads into his reelection campaign, 54% of voters in Kentucky disapprove of him. McConnell’s approval rating with Republicans is 53%, and that isn’t enough to overcome the extreme disapproval of the state’s Democrats (69%) and Independents (54%). This numbers should be especially troubling for McConnell because he has tried to court his home state voters by shifting to the extreme right over the past year.

McConnell’s biggest problem looks to be the rise of Rand Paul in the state. Sen. Paul has become twice as popular as McConnell. When Kentucky voters were asked which of the two senators they liked better, Paul beat McConnell, 42%-24%. McConnell tried to steal some of the Paul appeal by hiring former Paul grandson by marriage Jesse Benton for his reelection campaign, but Kentucky voters aren’t impressed. McConnell might not even survive a strong primary challenger, as only 46% of Republicans want him to be their nominee.

The Septuagenarian Mutant Ninja Turtle can ride out the storm surrounding the leaked audio tape, but his unpopularity with the voters back home could end his career. The audio tape is a bigger story on the left than it is on the right, and with Kentucky being a solid red state, it is easy to see some voters buying McConnell’s Democratic plot story.

The reason why McConnell could lose his seat is because he is viewed as both an establishment Republican, and a reason why the nation’s legislative process is gridlocked. The state’s Paul supporting anti-establishment Republicans don’t like him, and by making himself the face of Republican obstruction in the Senate he has reached a new level of revulsion with Democrats and Independents.

Never doubt the power of incumbency, but Mitch McConnell is a world of trouble.



Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements. Awards and  Professional Memberships Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association


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