KEY POINTS

  • Sen. Collins (R-Maine) is the country's most disliked senator at 52 percent disapproval
  • She knocks Sen. McConnell (R-Ky.) to second place with 50 percent disapproval
  • Collins is facing a decidedly difficult reelection in the fall as support dwindles

For a time, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) held the title as the least popular senator in the country, but now that crown goes to someone else. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) has claimed the dubious distinction, with over half of voters disapproving of her work.

Polling firm Morning Consult released its 2019 fourth quarter senator rankings this week, in which they asked voters to weigh in on how well they felt their senators were doing their jobs. Just behind Collins is McConnell with 50 percent disapproval; notably, Democratic nominee hopeful Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) ranked the ninth least favored, with 40 percent disapproval.

Collins’ rise to the top (or, rather, fall to the bottom) is no doubt linked in a crucial way to her position on the debate surrounding the rules of impeachment. Although the Senate trial of President Donald Trump is finally set to commence next Tuesday, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) held onto the articles of impeachment for nearly a month. Her hope was that Senate Republicans would first agree to trial rules that would permit witnesses to be subpoenaed for testimony.

While Democrats didn’t end up getting that concession, some hopes had been pinned on moderate Republicans like Collins to help back a witness resolution. The senator’s unwillingness to take a stance, while likely intended as a play to satisfy both sides, has likely only served to draw ire from Republicans and Democrats alike.

Collins said this week that her position had been misrepresented and that “it is likely that I would support a motion to call witnesses” but only after the trial had begun.

Collins also faced criticism over her tepid response to the explosive new details emerging from Lev Parnas, a Rudy Giuliani associate currently facing federal indictment, after seemingly dismissing the new information as not being necessarily relevant to the trial. This new evidence appears to strengthen Democrats’ charge that the Trump administration sought illegal dealings with the Ukraine government.

Come this fall, Collins will be seeking a fifth term as the senator from Maine. However, between voter approval taking and stiff competition, retaining her seat on the Senate will likely prove a major challenge.