Donald Trump and Nancy Pelosi can breathe a little easier — though both may be unpopular (especially with members of the opposing party), there is still one political leader who is far less popular than either of them.
A recent poll of political leadership in the United States found that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had just a 25 percent approval rating, the lowest mark between both parties. The Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll (published by The Hill) found that 44 percent of voters had an unfavorable view of McConnell, who has taken an increasing amount of blame for the ongoing government shutdown. Democratic leaders say that there is support among both parties to vote to end the shutdown that began after President Donald Trump vetoed a bipartisan funding measure, but that McConnell is blocking it by refusing to bring the vote to the Senate floor.
Even as it appeared this week that Democrats and Republicans had reached an agreement, McConnell blocked a new bill that would have re-opened the federal government. With Donald Trump refusing to back down from his demand for more than $5 billion in funding for the border wall and Democrats not budging from their stance not to vote for any border wall funding, there does not appear to be any end in sight.
Mark Penn, the co-director of the Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll, said the low numbers across the board show that voters are upset with all political leaders about the government shutdown.
“None of the leaders in Congress have near the favorability of President Trump — McConnell has the lowest national numbers, but Pelosi and Schumer are also facing widespread opposition despite the pulpit and authority they now wield,” Penn said.
McConnell wasn’t the only unpopular leader. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had a 35 percent approval while Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer had 30 percent approval from voters.
McConnell had already been despised among many Democrats for the unprecedented decision not to allow Barack Obama to fill a Supreme Court vacancy in the final year of his presidency. The seat remained open until after Trump was elected, when McConnell held hearings on Trump nominee Neil Gorsuch, who was eventually approved.
Though the poll focused on congressional leaders, Donald Trump has suffered low approval ratings as well. He has reached year-long lows in a series of polls, and an aggregate of polls from FiveThirtyEight shows that his overall approval has dipped below 40 percent with a sharp decline since the government shutdown started. His disapproval now stands at 55.8 percent.