OPINION: This article contains commentary which may reflect the author's opinion
Less than a year before the 2022 midterm elections, a new poll shows Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell hemorrhaging GOP support.
Among 11 federal officials ranked by Gallup’s new survey on job approval, McConnell came in dead last. He has a lower approval rating than President Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
However, while the three top Democrats in government received majority support from their own party members, the Kentucky Republican is trailing.
The majority of McConnell’s fellow Republicans disapprove of his job in the Senate by 52 points, while only 46 percent approve.
McConnell is facing a dissatisfaction that could leave him vulnerable, especially with Donald Trump and his supporters hammering away at his credibility for months.
The survey found that McConnell’s House counterpart, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, polled the highest of any Congressional leader of either party.
Considering McCarthy’s staunch support for Trump, plus his strong ratings within the GOP, it is very clear that he remains a kingmaker.
Nearly 7 in 10 Republican voters polled – 71 percent – approve of McCarthy’s performance.
He also scored 12 points higher than McConnell in his overall approval rating, with 46 percent.
In recent weeks, Trump has referred to McConnell as a ‘broken old crow’ for voting in favor of Biden’s $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure deal and permitting Democrats to raise the US debt limit.
Trump declared in a Fox interview less than 10 days ago that ‘Mitch McConnell’s a disaster. The Republicans have to get a new leader.’
According to the Wall Street Journal, Trump had been calling his allies and supporters in September to see if they agreed that it was time for a leadership change.
McConnell has yet to receive an official opposition from a Republican senator. Tommy Tuberville, a Senator from Alabama who Trump helped to win his seat, says McConnell is doing a good job.
In contrast, two Senate GOP hopefuls — Kelly Tshibaka, who is taking on Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski, and Eric Greitens, who is running for the seat vacated by Sen. Roy Blunt in Missouri — are trying to change that with Trump’s support.
Following the same poll released on Monday, Biden’s job approval rating is now lower than that of several of his top deputies, including Vice President Kamala Harris and Chief Medical Advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci.
On a list of federal officials, he is near the bottom alongside Republican Congressional leaders like Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
According to Gallup’s December 1 to December 21 poll, Biden has a dismal 43 percent approval rating, making him ninth out of eleven federal leaders.
However, his disapproval rating of 51 percent is still below Harris’ 54-point job disapproval rating.
Only Pelosi and McConnell have lower approval ratings than the president: 40 percent and 34 percent, respectively.
John Roberts, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, is ranked at the top. Six out of ten Americans approve of the job he’s doing as chief justice.
There are gun rights and abortion cases on the Supreme Court’s docket this year, as well as its first term with all three conservative justices appointed by Donald Trump. Roberts is presiding over one of the most politically charged terms in its history. Earlier this month, the high court heard oral arguments in what is believed to be the most significant challenge to Roe v. Wade in 30 years.
Public pressure has been exerted on the chief justice, who was appointed by Republican George W. Bush, to act as a counterbalance to the court’s overwhelming conservative majority.
He is also the only person on the list who is supported by both Republicans and Democrats.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell follows Roberts with a 53 percent approval rating. Earlier this month, Biden nominated Powell to lead the Federal Reserve.
Fauci is third, despite the fact that he became a politically charged figure in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak.
Although Fauci has been criticized by Republican elected officials, he remains one of the most trusted sources of pandemic information, becoming a celebrity in 2020 with a mass-produced bobblehead of his image and throwing out the first pitch at the beginning of the first baseball game between the New York Yankees and the Washington Nationals in the 2020 season.
It is not surprising that Fauci’s approval rating reflects those polarized opinions – 85 percent of Democrats approve, compared to 19 percent of Republicans.
There were 49 percent approvals for Attorney General Merrick Garland and Blinken, both top Cabinet officials.
Although McCarthy is the most popular Congressional leader, his 46 percent approval rating and 49 percent disapproval ratio illustrate Americans’ dissatisfaction with the House and Senate in general.
Meanwhile, his strong showing among Independents is yet another bad sign for Democrats hoping to hold onto their slim majority in the 2022 midterm elections.
Harris, who has struggled with her own disapproval ratings, comes out just ahead of Biden, with a 44 percent approval rating – tied with Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer.
A more significant number of voters disapprove of Schumer, McConnell, Harris, and Pelosi, in addition to the 51 percent who dislike Biden’s job performance.
Biden’s approval rating in the Gallup survey is similar to how he is ranked on poll aggregator FiveThirtyEight. Its tracking of Biden’s job rating shows the president’s steady decline to below 43 percent saw a small bump in mid-December.
Around the time he gave his speech on the Omicron variant and it plunged the country into yet another COVID-19 wave, it plunged back to 43.
Last week, Biden faced criticism for aiming too late with his plan to send 500 million at-home COVID tests to American homes in January, after a spike in cases across the country already forced people to wait in hours-long lines to be tested and for results to come.
Local leaders in virus hotspots and health experts said that when the 500 million eventually arrive, they would be quickly consumed and that the federal government should have had them prepared weeks ago.
As he acknowledged, the president had wished he had come up with the idea earlier. However, the next day, it was reported that the White House rejected a plan to minimize the country’s high infection rates.
As part of the plan, COVID test production would be increased to 700 million each month.