For years, the most unpopular senator in Morning Consult rankings has been Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). It’s hard to love Senate leadership — to the Democrats, he is the face of evil, and to Republicans, his every failure to deliver on a specific policy counts against him.
But according to the latest rankings, that title no longer belongs to McConnell. Instead, the most unpopular senator is now Maine’s Susan Collins:
NEW: Our latest Senate approval rankings are live. I took a look at the most vulnerable lawmakers:
• Susan Collins is now the most unpopular senator (taking that distinction from McConnell) #MESen
• Martha McSally is taking heat from all sides. #AZSenhttps://t.co/wrRoXIv3UT pic.twitter.com/kJqA6ar0Rb
— Eli Yokley (@eyokley) January 16, 2020
This is an incredible turnaround. Just five years ago, Collins was the second most popular senator, behind only Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). For most of her career, she has enjoyed strong cross-party support, owing to her personal brand as a bipartisan legislator.
That has changed in the Trump era. Collins has been a deciding vote many of the president’s most major controversial actions, including the passage of the disastrous corporate tax cuts and the elevation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Legendary author Stephen King, one of Maine’s most famous residents, has made it his goal to defeat her, and she now has a number of Senate challengers in 2020 — most prominently Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon, but also several others including former Maine Women’s Forum director Betsy Sweet, defense attorney Bre Kidman, and independent candidate Tiffany Bond.
McConnell himself is also facing re-election in November.