Poll: Manchin’s popularity skyrocketed over past year
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is among the most popular senators in the country after seeing his favorability skyrocket back home over the past year, according to an analysis of survey data released Monday.
Morning Consult found that, even as Manchin has faced backlash from progressives nationally, about 57 percent of West Virginia voters viewed him favorably in surveys conducted from January through March. His popularity jumped 17 points — more than any other senator — compared to the same period last year.
The poll found that Manchin’s popularity particularly grew among independent and Republican voters in West Virginia, while it dropped among Democrats.
Manchin, a moderate, has frequently staked out positions that have found him at odds with the White House and progressive leaders on issues such as expanding the social safety net. The senator has identified inflation as his primary concern when lawmakers have discussed large-scale spending proposals and has often worked to scale back proposals.
At the top of the popularity rankings, Morning Consult found that Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) were all viewed favorably by 62 percent of their respective states’ voters.
Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) was viewed least favorably, with 60 percent of Kentucky voters saying they disapprove of the job he’s doing.
McConnell has openly criticized former President Trump following the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot, though he has said he’d back the former president if he became the GOP presidential nominee again. Trump took more than 62 percent of the vote in Kentucky in the 2020 presidential election.
Five of the 10 most popular senators in the country are Republicans, while three are Democrats and two are independents who caucus with Democrats.
Among the 12 least popular senators, 10 are Republicans, while two are Democrats. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), another moderate who has frequently been in the middle with Manchin, was ranked among the least popular, with 42 percent of Arizona voters saying they disapprove of the job she’s doing.
The surveys were conducted Jan. 1 through March 31 among registered voters in each state, with margins of error up to 5 percentage points.
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