In today’s highly polarized political context, it is not surprising that congressional favorability ratings can often run to extremes. However, given the results of a recent survey, certain high-profile Democrat legislators may have real cause for concern.
According to polling data just released by Rasmussen Reports, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and progressive “Squad” member Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) are viewed as extremely unlikeable by a sizable portion of the electorate, something that may prompt an internal re-examination of their party’s recent far-left shift.
The survey questioned 1,000 likely voters by phone and via the Internet between Feb. 24 and 25 and had a margin of error of plus or minus three points. Respondents gave Ocasio-Cortez – often touted as the future of her party – an unfavorability rating of 54%, with 44% of those falling into the “very unfavorable” perception category.
Within the current hierarchy of congressional leaders, Pelosi also had a rather poor showing, earning “very unfavorable” rating from 48% of those surveyed, according to Rasumssen. Conversely, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) notched a respectable 43% “somewhat favorable” rating within which 20% of respondents had a “very favorable” opinion of the lawmaker.
These results come on the heels of the November election in which the Democrats’ majority in the House was preserved by a surprisingly slim margin. Soon after, Pelosi eked out a narrow victory in her quest to retain the speaker’s gavel despite suffering five defections from within her party, as USA Today noted.
That outcome, according to some pundits on the left, likely foreshadows the difficulties Pelosi will face in bringing together the progressive and moderate factions of the Democratic Party during the first two years of Joe Biden’s presidency.
As Michael Hardaway, former staffer to Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) told USA Today, “You’re going to have the progressives versus the moderates on nearly every bill.”
Conventional wisdom suggests that as long as Pelosi and AOC continue to grab headlines and make their increasingly radical positions known to vast swaths of American voters, Republicans may have an easier time reclaiming the majority in the 2022 midterms.
It remains to be seen whether Pelosi and more middle-of-the-road Democrats are capable of reading the writing on the wall as revealed by the Rasmussen poll and begin tempering their message to appeal to a wider audience.