As Ted Kaufman leaves office today he does so with a special distinction in our polling: the most popular of the appointed Senators who did not not seek election this year.
When we last polled Delaware in mid-September Kaufman's approval rating was a very respectable 38/33 spread, certainly ranking him above average for a Senator in this political climate.
All the rest of the appointed Senators posted negative approval numbers. For Carte Goodwin and George LeMieux the main response to their service was ambivalence. 61% of voters on our final West Virginia poll expressed no opinion about Goodwin with those who did have one breaking down 17% favorably and 22% unfavorably. LeMieux similarly made no impression on 61% of voters but the ones who did express an opinion about him were quite negative with only 11% approving of him and 28% disapproving.
LeMieux is frequently mentioned as a possible challenger to Bill Nelson in 2012 but I can't imagine he's going to be able to do much field clearing. Even with Republican voters his reviews are pretty negative at 14% approving and 24% disapproving. His year of free media simply has not done much to help him build up a positive image with Florida voters. He doesn't look formidable at all.
Bringing up the basement by a wide margin among the appointed Senators is Roland Burris who 57% of voters disapprove of with only 18% approving. The circumstances under which Burris was appointed made him unpopular from the start- he posted a 17/62 approval spread in April of 2009 shortly after being elected- and he never improved on those numbers.