Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) faces competition among Republican voters for the ranking of least popular. His competition, newly-elected freshman Rep. George Santos (R-NY) won out in polling by a small margin.
The news comes as one of the most experienced members of the Senate is less regarded among the general public than a newly-elected member of the House.
According to a new Monmouth poll, McConnell is viewed favorably by 23% of Republicans nationwide, while 53% see him unfavorably. Meanwhile, Santos is viewed favorably by 12% of Republicans, and unfavorably by 42%
The news shows a clearly negative result for the minority leader and widespread mistrust among many in the party for its establishment leadership. By comparison, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene has a positive rating of 30% and an unfavorable rating of just 19%.
The results also highlight McConnell’s unpopularity among members of his own party. Since Santos has been the target of media attacks regarding a number of accusations of exaggerating his resume, the fact that McConnell still ranks lower than him puts the Kentucky senator in a difficult place.
The recent poll is not a new revelation. National polling places McConnell as one of the least popular political figures in the nation. He regularly ran lower numbers than other figures such as former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Presidents Trump and Biden.
Poll: McConnell’s approval in Kentucky at 18 percent | TheHill https://t.co/fqxobksVSd
— Joy-Ann (Pro-Democracy) Reid 😷 (@JoyAnnReid) May 1, 2019
Among major political leaders polled by RealClearPolitics, McConnell is rated the lowest among his peers. The most recent average places his favorable rating among the general public at less than 20%, with the majority having an unfavorable view of the senate leader.
The senator is now in his seventh term in office and is up for reelection in 2016. He has also been notably challenged in each election’s primary going back to 1984. In one recent 2014 challenge against Republican Matt Bevin for the nomination, McConnell won just over 60% of the ballots.
Considering that McConnell is turning 81 this month and consistently garners poor reviews from Republicans, Democrats and independents, the 2026 race could be the most consequential of his career.