Poll: Who is the most popular senator (PHOTO CREDIT: TJ Kirkpatrick)
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According to a recently released poll, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has the highest approval rating of any U.S. senator currently in office.
Despite losing in the Democratic presidential primary in 2016 to failed Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, Sanders still enjoys a 75 percent approval rating in his home state of Vermont.
The poll, which was released by Morning Consult, also showed high marks for Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy, Vermont's other senator, who had a 70 percent approval rating. Republican Senator John Barrasso from Wyoming took third place with 69 percent.
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who has been consistently ranked the least popular senator throughout the poll's history, was again ranked at the bottom of the list with only a 44 percent approval rating. As a 30-year veteran, he was also the only senator who garnered a negative net approval rating. McConnell's approval rating, however, was slightly up compared to September when he had a 39 percent approval rating.
Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham weren't far behind McConnell as least popular senator, with 43 and 40 percent disapproval ratings, respectively.
Of the top 10 rankings, which included two senators tied for 9th place, there were five Republicans, two Independents, and four Democrats.
Morning Consult polled over 85,000 registered voters across the nation between January 2017 and March 2017.
The findings present an interesting contrast to polling conducted about the favorability ratings of Congress in general. Most national polls — including Gallup — have shown abysmal approval ratings for Congress as a whole. However, the Morning Consult results illustrate why there is still relatively low turnover in the United States Senate: Overwhelmingly, Senators tend to be at least reasonably popular in their home state, and it is very rare for senators to have negative net favorability ratings as an individual, at least in the absence of some major scandal.
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Sara Gonzales is the host of “Sara Gonzales Unfiltered.”