September 13, 2016

Poll shows approval ratings for Heinrich, Udall

U.S. Sens. Tom Udall (l) and Martin Heinrich (r)

Both of New Mexico’s U.S. Senators are relatively popular, though a large amount of the state voters don’t have an opinion about them either way, according to a poll by online polling firm Morning Consult.

Sen. Martin Heinrich (l), Sen. Tom Udall (r)

Sen. Martin Heinrich (l), Sen. Tom Udall (r)

The poll, which looked at the approval rating of all 100 U.S. Senators, showed New Mexico Senators Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall, both Democrats, in the middle of the pack when it came to popularity.

Morning Consult’s poll found 54 percent of New Mexican voters approve of the way Tom Udall is doing his job, compared 27 percent who disapprove. For Heinrich, 46 percent approve while 29 percent disapprove. The rest said they didn’t know or had no opinion about either senator.

The numbers are slightly down for both from April, where Udall had a 57 percent approval rating (and 23 percent who disapproved), while Heinrich had a 49 percent approval rating (to 24 percent who disapproved).

Neither senator faces reelection this year; Heinrich will be up for reelection in 2018 while Udall’s term ends in 2020.

The survey had a +/- 5 percent margin of error in New Mexico.

The two are far from the most popular senators among their constituents; former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has the approval of a whopping 87 percent of Vermont voters. Sanders is well ahead of the second-most popular senator, Maine’s Susan Collins, a Republican, who has the support of 69 percent of her constituents.

On the other end of the spectrum, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, is well in the hole. Just 39 percent of Kentuckians approve of McConnell’s job performance to 51 percent who disapprove. He is one of just two senators with more constituents who disapprove than approve of their job performance (the other is Pat Roberts, R-Kansas).

Morning Consult’s numbers come from internet polling between May and early September of this year.

Such 50-state polls can be useful, though FiveThirtyEight editor in chief Nate Silver noted they are not the same as 50 individual polls of each state. He broke down the difference here.