Friday, August 19, 2005



Survey USA just released it's approval/disapproval ratings for all 100 U.S. Senators. You can view their chart at
The average approval rating is 56% and the average Net Approval (Approval minus Disapproval) is 24%. Only 4 senators have negative net approval ratings (ie- ratings where the disapprove numbers are higher than the approve numbers). Starting with the least approved, they are: Rick "Man-on-dog" Santorum (R-Opus Dei) with a -4% net approval (42% approve and 46%, the highest of any senator in any state, disapprove), Tom Coburn (R-OK) with a -2%, Mel Martinez (R-FL) with a -1%, and Mike DeWine (R-Coingate) with a -1%. Not coincidentally, Santorum and DeWine are considered to be the two most endangered senators running for re-election in 2006. (Coburn and Martinez were just elected last year and won't have to face the voters again until 2010.)

In total there are 29 Senators with a below 50% approval rating, 7 of whom are desperately campaigning for re-election in 2006 (2 others are retiring from the Senate, the delusional and much-hated-by-both-sides Bill Frist and Minnesota's Mark Dayton). Of the 29 senators with under 50% approval ratings, 21 are Republicans and 8 are Democrats. Only two of the Democrats, Debbie Stabenow of Michigan and Bill Nelson of Florida, are up for re-election (Stabenow's Net Approval is at +8%, 46% approving and 38% disapproving; and Nelson's Net Approval is a healthy 17% with 48% approving and only 31% disapproving). Five Repugs who have to face the voters have approval ratings below 50%. Aside from Santorum and DeWine, the other endangered Republicans are Conrad Burns (R-MT), who is mired in serious ethics charges, Jim Talent (R-MO), and John Kyl (R-AZ).

On the other end of the spectrum, there are 4 senators whose approval ratings are over 70%: the two moderate Republican women from Maine, Olympia Snowe (77% approval!) and Susan Collins, plus two moderately progressive Midwestern Democrats: Barack Obama (D-IL) and Byron Dorgan (D-ND).


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