PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — U.S. Sen. Jack Reed consistently polls as the most popular elected official in Rhode Island, and a new survey shows he outperforms most of his Senate colleagues from across the country, too.

The survey of 1,178 Rhode Island registered voters by the website Morning Consult found 56% approved of Reed’s job performance during the three months ended Dec. 31, while 26% disapproved.

That gave Reed the ninth-highest approval rating among the country’s 100 senators, and the fifth-highest among Senate Democrats. The 73-year-old lawmaker was first elected to the Senate in 1996, succeeding Claiborne Pell, and has been re-elected four times since then.

“If it’s not a WPRI poll, we question the science,” Reed spokesperson Chip Unruh quipped Wednesday, before adding: “Senator Reed works hard for the people of Rhode Island. He does his best to deliver for the state and reflect its values.”

U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, who is up for re-election in 2024, lagged slightly behind Reed. Whitehouse’s job approval stood at 50% last fall in the quarterly Morning Consult polling, while his disapproval rating was 33%.

Massachusetts U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren — who is also up for re-election next year — had a similar job approval rating among roughly 6,000 Massachusetts voters surveyed, at 51%. But her disapproval rating was higher, at 40%, which may in part be due to her higher prominence after an unsuccessful presidential bid.

Massachusetts’ other senator, Ed Markey, posted a 53% job approval rating in the Morning Consult survey, with 29% of voters disapproving. Markey’s current term ends in 2026.

All four senators are Democrats.

All the results were gathered through online national polling of U.S. registered voters conducted by Morning Consult from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31. While that is an unusually long time period for a survey, Morning Consult’s findings over the years have generally been in the same ballpark as those reported in traditional telephone surveys.

Ted Nesi ( is a Target 12 investigative reporter and 12 News politics/business editor. He co-hosts Newsmakers and writes Nesi’s Notes on Saturdays. Connect with him on Twitter and Facebook