Sen. Bernie Sanders, the independent Vermont lawmaker who revived America’s progressive movement with his 2016 presidential challenge to Democrat Hillary Clinton, is the most popular senator in the United States, according to a new poll.
A Morning Consult survey of 85,000 registered voters, conducted online from January through March 2017, found that 75 percent approve of Sanders and just 21 percent disapprove. Despite the high marks, Sanders’ approval rating has fallen 12 points since September, while his disapproval rating has risen nine points.
Sanders’ fellow Vermont senator, Democrat Patrick Leahy, polled second, with 70 percent approval and 22 percent disapproval.
Sens. John Barrasso and Michael Enzi, both of Wyoming, ranked as the third and fourth most-popular senators overall and the highest-ranked Republicans, respectively. Barrasso received 69 percent approval to Enzi’s 68 percent.
The top 10 most popular senators included four Democrats, four Republicans, and two independents.
On the least popular side, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) came in with the highest disapproval rating (47 percent). Two of President Donald Trump‘s toughest Republican critics, Sen. John McCain of Arizona (43 percent disapproval) and Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina (40 percent disapproval), landed in the second and third, respectively, after McConnell.
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), at 39 percent, had the highest disapproval of any Democrat on the list, although she was closely followed by Sen. Tammy Baldwin, a Wisconsin Democrat, who had a 38 percent disapproval rating. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) also had a 38 percent disapproval rating, although her approval rating of 56 percent pushed her to ninth place on the negative-sentiment list.
Worse, perhaps, than disapproval, is mere obscurity. Sen. Gary Peters, a Michigan Democrat, ranked the “most unknown” senator, with 34 percent of respondents saying they did not know who he was.