From Rasmussen Reports…
Congressional Favorability Ratings
Most Voters View Pelosi, Reid Unfavorably, Give Mixed Marks to Boehner, McConnell
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
While the midterm elections initially brought some good will to the voter ratings for the top congressional leaders, the subsequent month seems to have taken it away. Ratings for the four leaders as the current session of Congress draws to a close have now fallen back to their pre-election levels, according to the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely U.S. Voters.
Last month, House Republican leader and likely new Speaker of the House John Boehner received his highest favorable ranking to date with 41% who had a favorable opinion of him. This month, just 34% of voters hold a favorable opinion of Boehner, including 11% with a Very Favorable view. That’s more in line with findings in October.
The new survey also finds that 42% now hold an unfavorable opinion of the Ohio congressman, up from 39% last month. This includes 20% with a Very Unfavorable view. Twenty-four percent (24%) still don’t know enough about the Republican leader to offer an opinion. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
The current speaker, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, remains the most unpopular congressional leader as she has been for nearly two years. Over half of voters (58%) hold an unfavorable opinion of Pelosi, including 43% with a Very Unfavorable opinion. Thirty-five percent (35%) view her favorably, with 13% who hold a Very Favorable regard for her.
By comparison, in November 2006, prior to Pelosi's election as speaker of the House, 24% viewed her favorably and 44% unfavorably.
Democrat Harry Reid, who after beating back a tough reelection challenge will remain the Senate majority leader, is viewed favorably by just 27% of voters, down six points from November and his lowest favorability rating since August. Fifty-three percent (53%) of voters have an unfavorable opinion of the Nevada senator, which shows little change from previous surveys. This includes just eight percent (8%) with a Very Favorable opinion and 33% with a Very Unfavorable one. Twenty percent (20%), however, don’t know enough about the Democratic leader to venture an opinion.
Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell also fell back to levels found before the midterms. Last month, he posted his highest favorable rating yet at 38%, but this month slightly fewer voters (34%) view the minority leader favorably, with only nine percent (9%) Very Favorable. Just as many (35%) have an unfavorable view of McConnell, including 16% Very Unfavorable. But nearly one-in-three voters (32%) still don't know enough about the Kentucky senator to venture any kind of opinion of him.
Most voters continue to give the current session of Congress poor marks in its closing days, and they still don't believe the national legislature has passed anything to significantly improve life in America.
Most Tea Party members view the candidates they elected in November as agents of change from government business as usual, but non-members are a lot more skeptical.
Republicans hold a seven-point lead over Democrats on the Generic Congressional Ballot for the week ending December 19, 2010.
Voters still trust Republicans more than Democrats on seven out of the 10 most important issues regularly surveyed by Rasmussen Reports including taxes, the economy and national security.
But most voters are still not convinced Congress will actually cut government spending substantially over the next year.
Despite the deal to extend the Bush tax cuts, voters express even less confidence than they did a month ago that President Obama can work with the new GOP majority in the House.