Jun 07 2016

Yellowhammer News: Richard Shelby listed among the most popular Senators in Washington

WASHINGTON, D.C. – According to a study by InsideGov and Morning Consult, Alabama Senator Richard Shelby is one of the country’s most popular Senators.

InsideGov used data from a survey of 62,000 registered voters conducted by political site Morning Consult to rank the top 25 most popular senators in the U.S. With a 59% approval rating, Senator Richard Shelby made the list at number 20. Shelby also has a 28% disapproval rating and 13% of voters have no opinion on him. InsideGov mentions that Shelby, who was elected to the Senate in 1986 as a Democrat, switched to the Republican Party in 1994. At 82 years old, Shelby is one of the four oldest senators currently serving in Congress.

Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who is currently battling Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination, has the highest approval rating, with an 80% favorable opinion from Vermont voters, 17% disapproval rate, and only 2% of voters with no opinion.

The list of the twenty-five most popular senators includes nine Republicans, 14 Democrats, and two Independents. All 25 senators on the list have an approval rating of 57% or higher.

With a 54% approval rating, Alabama’s other senator, Jeff Sessions, did not make the cut for InsideGov’s list. Sessions has a lower disapproval rating than Shelby (25%), but he has a higher percentage of voters who don’t have an opinion (21%). Sessions has been much more visible than Shelby in recent months because of his close ties to presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, which may have factored into his rating.

Voters are usually more likely to have a higher approval rating of their personal representatives than Congress as a whole. Congress has consistently received dismal approval ratings from voters of both parties. The latest Gallup poll gives Congress an 18% approval rating – the highest it has been since this time last year. The lowest-ever approval rating of Congress came in November 2013, with only a 9% approval rate after the government shutdown in October of that year.

Individual representatives have slowly been losing popularity as well. In 2014, only 49% of voters across the country approved of their personal representative, which was the first time that statistic dropped below 50%.