Tuesday 28 December 2021

52% of REPUBLICANS disapprove of Mitch McConnell: New poll shows Senate Minority Leader is one of the least popular U.S. leaders with Trump upping his bid to have him replaced

 A poll released Monday shows powerful Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell hemorrhaging GOP support, less than a year until the 2022 midterm elections.

McConnell came in dead last in Gallup's new survey ranking 11 federal officials by their job approval ratings. His 34 percent public approval is lower than that of President Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and even House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. 

But while the three top Democrats in government found majority support among their own party's voters, the Kentucky Republican is trailing in the GOP sphere.

Just 46 percent of McConnell's fellow Republicans approve of his job in the Senate, while a decisive 52-point majority disapprove.

The overwhelming dissatisfaction in the Senate's longest-serving GOP leader could leave him in a vulnerable position -- especially with Donald Trump and his supporters hammering away at McConnell's credibility for months. 

In contrast to McConnell's numbers, his House counterpart, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, polls the highest among any Congressional leader of either party listed in the survey. 

McCarthy's staunch support for Trump coupled with his positive rating among his own party is a strong indicator that the former president is still very much a kingmaker among the GOP.  

A majority of Republican voters disapprove of Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell's job in office, a new Gallup poll found in December

A majority of Republican voters disapprove of Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell's job in office, a new Gallup poll found in December

Nearly three-quarters of Republican voters polled - 71 percent - approve of McCarthy's job in office. 

The California Republican also scored a whopping 12 points higher than McConnell in his overall approval rating with 46 percent.

McConnell has been a favorite punching bag of Trump's, who most recently called him a 'broken old crow' for voting in favor of Biden's $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure deal and then allowing Democrats to raise the US debt limit. 

In an interview with Fox less than 10 days ago, Trump declared: 'Mitch McConnell’s a disaster. The Republicans have to get a new leader.'  

And in September, the Wall Street Journal had reported that Trump was making calls to allies in the Senate and other supporters to gauge if they too felt it was time for a leadership change.

To date no Republican senator has gone on the record to oppose McConnell. Even Alabama Senator Tommy Tuberville, who Trump helped win his seat, has said McConnell is doing a 'good job.'

McConnell ranked dead last in a list of 11 federal officials' job approval ratings
Trump has disparaged McConnell as a 'broken old crow' on multiple occasions

Donald Trump has been calling for McConnell's ouster for months, labeling him a 'broken old crow' in multiple statements

However two Senate GOP hopefuls -- Kelly Tshibaka, who is challenging Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski and Eric Greitens, the former governor of Missouri who is running for the seat being vacated by Senator Roy Blunt in the state -- are looking to change that with Trump's blessing. 

Biden's job approval rating is now lower than that of several of his top deputies including Vice President Kamala Harris and Chief Medical Adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci, according to the same poll released on Monday

He's ranked toward the bottom of a list of federal officials that also includes GOP Congressional leaders like House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

With a dismal 43 percent approval rating, Biden is the ninth-highest ranked out of 11 federal leaders, respondents to the Gallup poll taken December 1 to December decided.

However, his disapproval rating of 51 percent is still lower than Harris' 54-point negative job rating. 

Below the president are only Pelosi with 40 percent approval, and McConnell at 34 percent. 

Topping the list, however, is Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts. Six out of 10 Americans approve of the job he's doing leading the high court.

McConnell's overall approval trails McCarthy's by more than 10 points

McConnell's overall approval trails McCarthy's by more than 10 points

This year Roberts is overseeing one of the most politically-charged Supreme Court terms in history with cases on gun rights and abortion on the docket, and its first term with all three of Donald Trump's conservative justices on the bench. Earlier this month the high court heard oral arguments in the most significant challenge to Roe v. Wade in 30 years. 

The chief justice, appointed by Republican George W. Bush, has been under particular public pressure to act as a counter-balancing vote to the court's overwhelming conservative majority. 

He's also the only person on the list whom both a majority of Republicans and Democrats approve of. 

After Roberts is Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell with a 53 percent approval rating. Powell was re-nominated by Biden to lead the Fed late last month.

Third is infectious disease expert Fauci, despite the coronavirus pandemic turning him into a hyper-politicized figure. 

Fauci has grappled with criticism from Republican elected officials but still remains one of the most trusted sources of pandemic information, even gaining superstar status in 2020 that involved a mass-produced bobble head in his image and his throwing out the first pitch at the start of the first DC Nationals and New York Yankees baseball game of the 2020 season.

Biden's approval rating of 43% was only higher than that of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell

Biden's approval rating of 43% was only higher than that of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell

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His approval rating reflects those polarized opinions - 85 percent of Democrats approve of Fauci while just 19 percent of Republicans do.

Then two of Biden's top Cabinet officials, Blinken and Attorney General Merrick Garland, each with 49 percent approval. 

McCarthy is the most favored Congressional leader on the list, though his 46 percent approval to 49 percent disapproval rating is a sign of Americans' overall dissatisfaction with the House and Senate. 

His strong showing among Independent voters, however, is yet another bad sign for Democrats hoping to hold onto their slim Congressional majority in the 2022 midterm elections. 

Harris, who struggles with her own disapproval numbers, comes out just ahead of Biden with an approval rating of 44 percent - tied with Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer. 

The poll also shows more voters disapprove of Schumer, McConnell, Harris and Pelosi than the 51 percent who don't care for Biden's job performance. 

Biden's approval rating in the Gallup survey is comparable to how he's ranked on poll aggregator FiveThirtyEight. 

According to its tracker of Biden's job rating, the president's steady decline to below 43 percent saw a small bump in mid-December. 

Kamala Harris: 44% approval to 54% disapproval
Kevin McCarthy: 46% approval to 49% disapproval
Antony Blinken: 49% approval to 43% disapproval
John Roberts: 60% approval to 34% disapproval
Chuck Schumer: 44% approval to 53% disapproval
Anthony Fauci: 52% approval to 47% disapproval

Biden was ranked ninth out of 11 federal leaders in terms of job approval in the new Gallup poll

Then around the time he delivered his speech on the Omicron variant and it quickly plunged the country into another COVID-19 wave, it sunk back to 43.

Biden was criticized as being too late last week with his plan to send 500 million at-home COVID tests to Americans' homes in January, after a spike in cases across the country was already forcing people to wait in hours-long lines to be tested and then days longer for their results.

Health experts and local leaders in virus hotspots said when the 500 million eventually arrive, they would quickly be used up, and that the federal government should have been ready with them weeks ago.

The president himself conceded that he wished he'd thought of the idea earlier, though the next day a report emerged that the White House turned down a plan presented by medical experts to avoid the high infection rates the country is now grappling with.

That plan called for ramping up COVID test production to more than 700 million per month.

Biden is meeting with the nation's governors on Monday to discuss what they need to combat the Omicron variant, now the dominant strain. in the country, before he departs to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

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