All About Mitch
July Power Poll findings
Thanks to Power Poll participants who rolled up their sleeves and answered all the questions about Sen. Mitch McConnell and his bid for re-election in 2020. We had a 22.5 percent response rate — that's 62 people from 276 queried — which is down just a little from June, our biggest showing of the three months we have been polling Louisvillians, but not bad for a vacation month and ... a lot of questions (nine; thanks for your patience!).
Most polls will be shorter, but McConnell is not only a Louisville resident and a longtime Kentucky politician. He also is a national figure as Senate majority leader, and he is in the headlines every week for his actions and his inactions in that role.
There's plenty to ask about when it comes to Kentucky's senior senator.
Indeed, just in the past few days he has picked up a third Democratic primary opponent and has maintained his near radio silence (as have most of his fellow Capitol Hill Republicans) about President Donald Trump's incendiary remarks, most recently about "the Squad."
Louisville is a famously and relatively lonely blue spot in an otherwise red commonwealth, whose statewide federal elections McConnell, 77, has won since he took office 34 years ago. This, despite the fact that his approval and disapproval ratings (currently, he is the most unpopular senator in the U.S. according to Morning Consult's rankings) suggest a different story about his appeal as a politician.
So what do the Power Poll results show for him in at this moment in time? Here we go with our Q and your A:
— Has he been in office too long?
YES, said 71 percent, or 44 people.
NO, said 29 percent, or 18 people.
— What grade would you give him as a senator in representing the interests and values of most Kentuckians? Almost half the respondents — 48 percent — rated him poor or failing. The breakdown ...
D, said 27 percent, or 17 people.
F, said 21 percent, or 13 people.
A, said 19 percent, or 12 people.
C, said 18 percent, or 11 people.
B, said 15 percent, 9 people.
— What grade would you give him as Senate majority leader in representing the interests and values of most Americans? More than two-thirds of the respondents rated him failing or poor.
F, said 32 percent, or 23 people.
D, said 34 percent, or 21 people.
A, said 11 percent or 7 people.
B, said 11 percent, or 7 people.
C, said 6 percent, or 4 people.
— Are his Morning Consult rankings — seventh-lowest approval rating among senators in the U.S.; most unpopular senator in the country — deserved or undeserved?
DESERVED, said 76 percent, or 47 people.
Undeserved, said 24 percent, or 15 people.
— Of the following, what do you think is the biggest factor in those Morning Consult ratings?
HIS PARTISANSHIP, said 55 percent or 34 people.
Leadership, said 18 percent, or 11 people.
None of the above, said 11 percent, or 7 people.
His handling of Supreme Court nominations, said 8 percent, or 5 people.
His handling of health care, and overall results, each had 3 percent, or 2 people each.
His handling of taxes and the economy, 2 percent or 1 person.
— As of July 2019, do you plan to vote for Sen. McConnell in 2020?
NO, said 68 percent, or 42 people.
Yes, said 24 percent, or 15 people.
Depends on his opponent, said 8 percent, or 5 people.
— If you do plan to vote for Sen. McConnell in 2020, what is the greatest factor in your vote for him?
These results are a bit puzzling, and it could have been the wording of the question. In another question, only 15 people said they were going to vote for the senator in 2020, but 100 percent of respondents answered this question and their No. 1 answer, at 68 percent, was "None of the above" given the same choices of leadership, results, health care, Supreme Court nominations, taxes and the economy, and partisanship.
Among those categories, overall results had 13 percent or 8 people; leadership had 11 percent or 7 people, with a smattering of votes in the other categories.
— If you do not plan to vote for Sen. McConnell, what is the most important factor in your vote for someone else?
HIS LEADERSHIP, said 37 percent, or 23 people.
That pesky none of the above again, said 27 percent, or 17 people.
His partisanship, said 21 percent, or 13 people.
Overall results, health care, Supreme Court nominations and taxes and the economy picked up the remainder.
— In the earliest days of her campaign to oppose him in 2020, Democratic challenger Amy McGrath has made headlines in painting the Republican senator and majority leader as an obstructionist to some of President Trump's agenda, such as "draining the swamp" and lowering the costs of prescription drugs. Do you see Sen. McConnell as an obstructionist to the Republican president and his agenda?
The answers suggest not even the president's supporters buy McGrath's opening argument and attempt to drive a wedge between McConnell and Donald Trump with Kentucky voters.
NO, said 89 percent, or 55 people.
Yes, said 11 percent, or 7 people.
Next month: Another poll, fewer questions, a bigger pool of respondents.
Stay cool in these hot times.
About Power Poll: Power Poll asks questions of the most powerful, influential people in U.S. cities. It is not a scientific survey. But because the people responding to the surveys comprise the leadership structure of their cities, the results afford a fascinating glimpse into the thoughts, opinions, and beliefs of those in a position to make change. Power Poll is distinctly nonpartisan.