A Morning Consult second quarter poll (July-September) finds only three vulnerable senators up for re-election have approval ratings higher than 50% one year out from next year’s midterms. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), and Jon Tester (D-MT) have approval ratings of 53%, 55%, and 53%, respectively. That puts their net approval ratings at 17%, 23%, and 20%, respectively. Senators Manchin and Heitkamp saw a slide of nine net points since their first quarter ratings (January-June). Senator Tester saw a bump of nine net points.
The other nine Senators – Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Dean Heller (R-NV), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Bob Casey (D-PA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), and Bill Nelson (D-FL) – all have approval ratings below 50%. Their net approval ratings are -9%, 0%, 3%, 3%, 9%, 11%, 19%, 21%, and 24%, respectively. Sen. Stabenow is the only one in this group who has not seen a negative shift in net approval rating since the first quarter. Senators Menendez (-10), Heller (-8), Donnelly (-7), and McCaskill (-5) saw the largest shifts in this group.
Considering the downward slide most incumbent Democrats are suffering, the right Republican candidates, messages, and campaigns have a real shot at picking up seats twelve months from now.