Speed Reads

Winning the popularity contest

Bernie Sanders has the highest approval rating of any U.S. senator

If Bernie Sanders loses the Democratic presidential primary, at least his seat in the Senate should be pretty safe. A survey of voters by Morning Consult out Tuesday reveals that the Vermont independent has the highest approval rating of any U.S. senator, snagging the support of 83 percent of his Vermont constituents. Only 13 percent disapprove.

That's miles ahead of the ratings of some of the GOP presidential hopefuls in the Senate. In comparison, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has an approval rating of 52 percent, and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio has 50 percent approval. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul has a 48 percent approval rating, while South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham has 51 percent approval.

Even compared to the most popular Republican in the Senate, Maine Sen. Susan Collins, Sanders soars points ahead. Collins has 78 percent approval from Maine voters and 16 percent disapproval. The only other Democratic senator to come close to Sanders' level of approval is Sanders' fellow Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy, who has 71 percent approval and 22 percent disapproval.

Morning Consult surveyed 76,569 registered voters across all 50 states over several months. The survey's margin of error varies by state sample size, for which the median is 1,172 respondents. Sanders' survey's margin of error is plus or minus 6.5 percentage points.