Missouri’s Claire McCaskill is one of only two out of 12 vulnerable U.S. Senators up for reelection in a state where President Trump has a higher rating.
The lawmakers are considered vulnerable largely because they’re running to hold their seats in state’s President Trump won in 2016.
Numbers compiled by technology and media company Morning Consult show that only McCaskill and Joe Manchin of heavily conservative West Virginia have approval ratings lower than Trump in their states. McCaskill trails the President by six points in the Show-Me State while Manchin’s deficit at home is a much higher 20-points. McCaskill is up one-point from earlier in the year
The two-term incumbent Missouri Democrat is one-point ahead of her likely Republican opponent, state Attorney General Josh Hawley, according to an average of polls compiled by RealClearPolitics as of Tuesday. A poll earlier this month by Republican-affiliated Remington Research has Hawley with a two-point edge while a survey in June by Democratic allied Global Strategy Group gave McCaskill a six-point lead, a rare showing outside the margin-of-error for either candidate.
Numbers from Morning Consult also give McCaskill a slightly better approval rating than Missouri’s Republican Senator Roy Blunt at 40%-verusu38%, an unusual circumstance in a state that typically leans in favor of GOP members. However, both are underwater and McCaskill has the fourth highest disapproval rating of all Senators at 44%. Blunt’s negative assessment is 39%.
Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky amassed the largest disapproval rating in the Senate at 56% while Independent Bernie Sanders of Vermont had the highest approval at 63%.
Morning Consult conducted 331,218 surveys with registered U.S. voters from April 1 through June 30, 2018, to determine its Q2 2018 Senator Approval Rankings.
The ratings of the 100 Senators have a margin-of-error between 1% and 5%. Both Missouri members of the upper chamber have a 1% margin-of-error. In each poll, participants indicated whether they approve or disapprove of the job performance of their U.S. senators.
For each question, they could answer strongly approve, somewhat approve, somewhat disapprove, strongly disapprove, or don’t know / no opinion.
Some experts are cautioning against placing too much emphasis on polling, especially now. University of Missouri Political Science Professor Peverill Squire notes Missouri is a hard place to survey because not a lot of polls are conducted in the state. He also says it’s still early in the contest. “The information we have right now certainly gives some comfort to McCaskill, but there’s a lot of time between and November,” said Squire.