October 13, 2022
Sen. Joe Manchin’s approval rating dropped by double digits in his home state of West Virginia, which makes him one of the most unpopular senators, according to a recent Morning Consult poll.
Only 42% of registered voters approve of Manchin and 51% disapprove after the senator lost a lot of support from Republicans and independents. In a poll during the first quarter of 2022, his approval rating was close to 60% and his disapproval rating was less than 40%. The change in his approval rating could be rooted in his recent support for some of President Joe Biden’s policy agendas.
Manchin’s approval rating dropped significantly among independent voters, of which only 31% approve. His approval rating is 44% among Republican voters and 52% among Democratic voters. About 52% of independents disapprove of the senator, as do 53% of Republicans and 45% of Democrats.
Although Manchin is a Democrat, he is one of the most moderate senators in his party. Through most of the year, his approval rating was substantially higher among Republicans than among Democrats.
Earlier in the year, Manchin had fought against parts of Biden’s energy agenda and some of his spending plans. Yet, he switched gears on the more moderate alternative known as the Inflation Reduction Act. Although the act was a watered down version of the Build Back Better plan, it will still increase taxes on large corporations and could create problems for the coal industry with higher taxes and potentially stricter regulations.
“Following a quarter in which he played a pivotal role in the enactment of Democrats’ Inflation Reduction Act — a massive climate, health care and taxes measure — Manchin saw a greater decline in his approval rating and a larger surge in disapproval than any other Senate incumbent,” Morning Consult’s analysis noted. “That has dragged him to similar levels of home-state support held by controversial senators such as Democrat Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Republicans Mitt Romney of Utah and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, all of whom are among America’s most unpopular senators.”
The new poll shows Manchin with the third highest disapproval rating among voters in a senator’s home state. The only two senators who have higher disapproval ratings are Sen. Mitch McConnell in Kentucky with 63% disapproving and Sen. Ron Johnson in Wisconsin with 55% disapproving.