Democratic Sen. Doug Jones (Ala.) saw his net approval rating among Alabama voters plummet 17 percentage points over the course of 2018, according to new polling data from Morning Consult.
Jones, who in 2017 narrowly won a special election to replace former Attorney General Jeff Sessions in the U.S. Senate, started 2018 with a job approval rating of 47 percent and a disapproval rating of 25 percent. The senator closed out the year with an approval rating of 40 percent and a disapproval rating of 35 percent among Alabamians, resulting in an overall drop of 17 percentage points.
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Quarterly data compiled by Morning Consult for every sitting member of the Senate showed that Jones' approval rating continuously slipped throughout his first year in office. In July, Jones' approval rating was at 45 percent, with a disapproval rating of 28 percent, and by October, those numbers had fallen to 43 and 30 percent, respectively.
The results do not bode well for Jones as he gears up to seek reelection in 2020. In 2016, President Donald Trump carried Alabama overwhelmingly over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Jones, on the other hand, only captured his seat by less than 22,000 votes after sexual misconduct allegations were leveled against his Republican opponent, former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore.
Complicating matters for Jones is the fact that he has cut an unconventional profile in Congress. After campaigning as a moderate Democrat, he has voted with his party nearly 50 percent of the time, including on such high-profile issues as abortion, gun control, and the Supreme Court confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh.
So far, no Republican has announced their intention to challenge Jones in 2020, with most potential candidates waiting to see whether Sessions will try to reclaim his old seat.