Tester approval rating plummets in new poll

Eleven of the the 12 most vulnerable senators up for re-election in 2018 ended last year less popular among their constituents than at the start of the 115th Congress.

That’s according to the new Morning Consult Senator Approval Rankings for the fourth quarter of 2017, based on more than 250,000 surveys with registered voters from Oct. 1 through Dec. 31. (See full methodology here.)

The data show declines in net approval ratings for nine of the 10 Democratic incumbents who are running in states President Donald Trump won in 2016, and who have faced attacks on the airwaves and online from their Republican challengers, the National Republican Senatorial Committee and outside conservative groups.

Democratic Sen. Jon Tester of Montana — which voted for Trump by 20.5 points in 2016 — saw his net approval rating fall by 18 percentage points by the end of the year, the most of any of those Democratic incumbents, with 47 percent approving of him and 40 percent disapproving, as of the end of December. Much of the decline — 13 points — in Tester’s net rating came during the fourth quarter, with a 9-point slide among independents and 27-point drop among GOP voters.