(AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

Taking hits from all sides, Marco Rubio's approval rating dips to an all-time low

In his first ratings since his CNN town hall appearance, Rubio takes a stumble


Charlie May
February 28, 2018 3:57PM (UTC)

The ratings are in! And for Florida's Republican Senator Marco Rubio, things are not exactly looking up.

Freshly coming off his bold appearance at a CNN town hall debate on guns in which he was owned by teenager after teenager, Rubio took a big stumble in the polls and is now at an all-time low approval rating. He's caught heat from all sides.

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Rubio's approval rating sits only at 38 percent, with 53 percent of registered voters saying they disapprove of his job performance, a new Quinnipiac University poll showed. Rubio only succeeded among two very intertwined demographics, Republicans and white men. Every other group disapproves.

Even among Republicans, Rubio underperforms with a 65 percent approval rate and 24 percent disapproval rate.

But Wednesday morning he seemed to once again soften up on the contentious gun control debate and, instead of taking a stance, just called for everyone to calm down.

It's easy for Rubio, a recipient of hefty National Rifle Association donations which totaled over $3 million, to tell the public to tone things down, despite having fallen subject to several mass shootings over the years and at rates far higher than in any other developed country.

The comments show that Rubio is still skittish about taking a firm, and real, stance on guns in America, not unlikely amongst conservatives. In the wake of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting earlier this month in Parkland, Florida, students who survived the tragedy have mobilized a national movement that has called for gun reform and a denouncement of the NRA's political prestige.

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Rubio, like many conservative lawmakers, has been quick to offer his thoughts and prayers in the immediate aftermath of a national tragedy and has been unwilling to take any action. Though Rubio's appearance at CNN's town hall last week was commendable, it hardly made a measurable impact on conservative lawmakers' willingness to act. Now, as the wall-to-wall coverage of the shooting has begun to wane, the Florida senator has played it safe.

He's certainly not the only one who has attempted to walk against the flow of traffic unnoticed, as President Donald Trump himself has now distanced himself from modest proposals he floated in the days after the shooting.


Charlie May

Charlie May is a news writer at Salon. You can find him on Twitter at @charliejmay

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