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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Dem Senators Pull Ahead in Approval Ratings

SurveyUSA has just released a report on the approval ratings of U.S. Senators, and the news is good. Of the 25 US Senators with the highest approval ratings, 17 are Democrats, plus Independent Jim Jeffords. Stated in reverse terms, only 7 of the 25 senators with the highest approval ratings are Republicans. Ed Kilgore over at New Donkey notes further:

Barack Obama is America’s most popular Senator in his own state, with a 72/21 approval/disapproval ratio. The least popular Senator is John Cornyn from Bush’s home state of Texas, who registers at 40/36. Notable 2006 target Rick Santorum actually has the highest disapproval rate of any Senator, with a 45/44 ratio. Ohio’s Mike DeWine continues to beg for a strong opponent in 2006, coming in at 44/43. Conrad Burns of MT is at a marginal 50/42 ratio. Supposedly vulnerable Democrat Ben Nelson is at a robust 64/26, while the other Nelson, Bill of Florida, is doing relatively well at 47/29.

Not too shabby — and it gets better. Republicans are 8 of the 10 senators with lowest approval ratings. True, it’s a little early for high-fives and it would be better, as Kilgore notes, if more of the GOP bottom-feeders were up for election in ’06. But as an overall trend indicator, the SurveyUSA report offers encouragement to Dems hoping for a net gain of 7 seats needed to regain a Senate majority.