Poll: Nancy Pelosi Most Unpopular Congressional Leader

Americans dislike top Democrats and Republicans alike, according to Gallup.

House Democratic Leader, Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California, gestures as she discusses the widening income gap between corporate CEO's and their workers while speaking at the 2013 Democratic Party state convention in Sacramento, Calif., Saturday, April 13, 2013. (Rich Pedroncelli/AP Photo)

House Leader and Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., gestures as she discusses the widening income gap between corporate CEO's and their workers while speaking at the 2013 Democratic Party state convention April 13 in Sacramento, Calif.

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Most everyone knows who Nancy Pelosi is – and they don't like her.

That's according to the latest Gallup survey on the popularity of top congressional leaders, which found both Democratic leaders more unpopular than their Republican counterparts.

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Nearly 8 in 10 Americans know of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, compared to 72 percent who know House Speaker John Boehner, 65 percent who are familiar with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and 60 percent who know Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

But overall, Pelosi is seen the most negatively by Americans – with a "net negative" of 17, compared to a net negative of 11 for Reid, 10 for Boehner and 8 for McConnell. "Net negatives" are a polling statistic made when you subtract the percent of people who view someone negatively from the number that view them positively. Popular politicians have "net positive" numbers, unpopular ones have "net negatives."

"Pelosi's current image extends a run of net-negative reviews of her that took hold in 2009, during her third year as House speaker," wrote Gallup polling analyst Lydia Saad in a memo accompanying the poll. "Pelosi continues to be better known by Americans and maintains much of the high negatives she acquired during her stint in the job. Boehner isn't too far behind in either regard; however, given the incremental shifts seen to date in his ratings as speaker, it's unlikely that he will overtake her in recognition or unpopularity anytime soon.

 

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Pelosi is also the most polarizing figure in congressional leadership, with the greatest disparity between popularity with members of her own party and unpopularity with members of the opposing party, according to Gallup.

Saad said the unpopularity of all the congressional leadership means neither Republicans nor Democrats have an edge when it comes to the 2014 midterm elections.

"Neither congressional caucus has a strong frontman or woman to lead its party's midterm campaign," she said. "Given her popularity among fellow Democrats, Pelosi would appear to be the best messenger to help bring Democrats to the polls, but, if too visible, she might be even more effective at turning out Republicans, as may have been the case in 2010."

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Gallup surveyed 1,012 adults from April 11 to 14 and the poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent.

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