Having just engineered the induction of Neil Gorsuch as a justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is a conquering hero to conservative Republicans.
A commentary on the “news site” of the right-wing Heritage Foundation said this morning, “Had McConnell not made the quick and decisive decision following [Justice Antonin] Scalia’s death to postpone any judicial confirmation hearings until after the 2016 presidential election thereby allowing the next president to appoint Scalia’s successor, it is very likely that now-President Donald Trump might still be citizen Trump.
“If President Barack Obama’s choice, Judge Merrick Garland, had been given hearings and confirmed to the court, not only would Scalia’s seat have been lost—perhaps also would the very issue that propelled Trump to win last November.”
Putting aside the unsubstantiated assertion that it was conservatives concerned about the direction of SCOTUS who catapulted Trump to the White House, it is clear that McConnell is feeling the conservative love.
Unfortunately, those warm feelings toward the senior senator from Kentucky are not universally held – especially among his own constituents (though that presumably does not include his wife, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao).
McConnell is the least liked senator in America, with 47 percent of Kentuckians giving him a thumbs-down according to a new Morning Consult poll of 85,000 registered voters. Still, he’s doing better than he was about six months ago when 51 percent withheld their approval.
Not surprisingly, some of the loudest voices in the Senate pull the biggest negatives.
In South Carolina, 40 percent of voters have negative feelings about Republican Lindsey Graham, who along with pal Arizona GOP Senator John McCain, has been a frequent critic of Donald Trump (though both applauded the strike against Syria). McCain, a onetime presidential nominee, posts a 43 percent disapproval rating, just below McConnell and one click above Graham in the most disliked list.
Voters in Massachusetts approved of another outspoken senator, progressive Elisabeth Warren, by 56 percent, but she also had high negatives at 38 percent. On the whole, though, Dems fared better than Republicans.
In fact, in the Top 10 list of senators with the highest disapproval ratings, there were 8 Republicans and 5 Democrats. Right, 8 and 5 don’t add up to 10. But there was 1 Republican tied with a Democrat for sixth place and three Republicans tied for seventh place.
Out of 100 senators, the one with the highest positive rating is neither a registered Democrat nor a registered Republican. Vermont independent Bernie Sanders, whose insurgent candidacy unsettled the race for the Democratic nomination won by now-defeated Hillary Clinton, is the most popular senator in America, with a home-state approval rating of 75 percent.
As for McConnell, as Genevieve Wood wrote in The Daily Signal, “So if you’re raising a glass to our new Supreme Court associate justice, raise one to McConnell as well.”