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WKU Poll Rates Favorability of Mitch McConnell, Rand Paul

mitch mcconnell
United States Congress/Gage Skidmore
Wikimedia Commons
Mitch McConnell (left) and Rand Paul.

A poll released this month by Western Kentucky University suggests that Mitch McConnell is the least popular among the state’s two Republican U.S. Senators.

A survey of 531 of the state’s residents at least 18 years old gave the Senate Majority Leader a 30 percent approval rating. WKU Political Science Professor Joel Turner heads the Social Science Research Center at WKU, which conducted the poll. He says popularity typically hasn’t been behind McConnell’s rise to leadership.

“The thing to keep in mind is that when Senator McConnell has run for re-election, he has never run as Mr. Popularity," Turn says. "He’s always run as Mr. Effective, and those can often be two different things.”

Kentucky’s junior U.S. Senator, Rand Paul, maintained the highest job performance rating among poll respondents at 45 percent. Dr. Turner said he thinks the Bowling Green Republican has remained an outsider politician which has increased his favorability. President Donald Trump enjoys a higher approval rating in Kentucky at 45 percent compared to the national average. Trump easily carried the Bluegrass State with 62 percent of the vote in the 2016 general election.

The poll was taken by WKU’s Social Science Research Center April 11th through 15th. It questioned 513 Kentuckians 18 years and older. The survey had a plus or minus four percent margin of error.