When you review the latest congressional favorability poll, it is incredible that Democrats hold the House or the Senate. Rassmussen polled 1,000 likely voters, which means a respondent has voted in the last several elections, and asked them about our congressional leaders, and added Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to see how she compared with Speaker Nancy Pelosi and who voters thought congressional Democrats in Congress should emulate.
The results are mixed. Individually, Ocasio-Cortez is wildly unlikeable, but so are Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. According to Rasmussen:
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 54% of Likely U.S. Voters have an unfavorable view of Ocasio-Cortez, including 44% whose view of her is Very Unfavorable. Only 16% view have a Very Favorable view of AOC, and another 18% have a Somewhat Favorable view.
However, when asked which one of these women Democrats should be more like, 31% said Pelosi, and 22% answered Ocasio-Cortez. A plurality of 46% said they are not sure. Even those who identify as Democrats pick Pelosi with a plurality of 44%, even though 69% report having a somewhat favorable view of Ocasio-Cortez. Unaffiliated voters have a Very Unfavorable opinion of Ocasio-Cortez 50% of the time with Republican voters at a rate of 69%.
The choice of who other members should emulate seems strange since Pelosi has ceded much of the legislative agenda to Ocasio-Cortez and the radical left. President Biden’s priorities for climate change, immigration, and other social justice issues mirror the Squad, not the moderate Congress members. Many of Biden’s executive actions are getting backed up with legislation like the Equality Act.
Among congressional leaders, the most liked is House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Nearly half, 43% of likely voters, have at least a Somewhat Favorable opinion of him, including 20% whose view of McCarthy is Very Favorable. Even Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is less disliked than Schumer. Among likely voters, 35% view McConnell as Very Unfavorable while 43% view Schumer that way. Pelosi has a Very Unfavorable score of 48%.
The radical wing is also looking to knock out senators from more moderate and Republican states that can’t tow the progressive line. Senators Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.) have already been threatened with primary challengers. If the primaries are successful, those seats may flip to Republican. The issue with Ocasio-Cortez and her caucus seems to sit primarily with unaffiliated voters. A continued push to the left may make this worse, especially if the media insists on keeping her and her radical colleagues as the face of the party.
It is beneficial to Republicans that the media focuses so much on congressional leaders and the more radical members of the Democrat Party. Some of the moderate, business-friendly Democrat members will have a much harder time in 2022, especially if they consistently vote with their caucus, which is moving much further left. These purple district members ran on kitchen-table issues in 2018. Yet their party chose to be vindictive, focus on impeaching a president who left office, and is now pushing legislation that much of America regards as radical. Pelosi bloated the current COVID relief package with rent-seeking and paybacks that it will not make it through the Senate except through reconciliation.
If some of these more moderate Democrats got more airtime, the people surveyed might have had a real choice about who members of the Democrat Party should strive to mirror. Even Pelosi knew it was these hard-won seats that gave her the majority, not the deep blue ones like Ocasio-Cortez’s. Rumors are that the district won by Ocasio-Cortez may be cut if New York loses a seat in the House as expected. There is further speculation she may primary Schumer if that happens. Neither Democrat leader will criticize her, and they have even included her at the podium with Schumer on occasion as the House member present.
The simple truth is by continuing to promote Ocasio-Cortez, Pelosi and Schumer make it seem like Tom Perez was right when he said she was the future of the party. Not even Democrats are comfortable with that, according to the poll. They also give McCarthy a foil in 2022 if Pelosi indeed exits the Speaker position as she has said she would. McCarthy doesn’t need to run against Pelosi, which worked beautifully in 2010. He can run against Ocasio-Cortez and her radical colleagues. Unfortunately for the few Democrat moderates, unless they wake up, more of them lose their seats.