Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) approval rating is underwater in Kentucky ahead of his reelection race next year, according to a new Public Policy Polling (PPP) survey released Thursday.
About 33 percent of registered Kentucky voters polled approve of the job McConnell is doing, while 56 percent disapprove and 11 percent are unsure. Additionally, 32 percent think McConnell “deserves to be reelected,” and 61 percent think it’s “time for someone new.”
The PPP poll was conducted on behalf of the Ditch Mitch Fund, an advocacy group that opposes McConnell. McConnell’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.
Despite low approval ratings, McConnell holds a razor-thin lead against a generic Democratic opponent. About 45 percent of Kentucky voters say they would vote for the Senate leader and 42 percent say they would support a “Democratic opponent.” About 12 percent are unsure.
Exactly half of the people surveyed in the PPP poll said they supported McConnell in 2014.
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) is reportedly courting former Marine fighter pilot and recent congressional candidate Amy McGrath to challenge McConnell next year. Steven Cox, a Kentucky health care advocate, already declared his candidacy in the race.
McConnell consistently polls poorly but has been serving in the Senate since 1985. Morning Consult found last month that the Kentucky Republican was the third most unpopular senator in the country, with 47 percent of Kentuckians disapproving with his job performance. He was only more popular than Sens. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who retired, and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), who was voted out of office.
The Senate leader’s approval rating nationally is also underwater, with a Hill–HarrisX poll showing last month that 40 percent of Americans view McConnell unfavorably, while 28 percent have a favorable view.
The PPP poll surveyed 748 registered Kentucky voters from Feb. 11 to 12 and has a margin of error of 3.6 percentage points.