Politics

Congressional Leadership’s Approval Is Abysmal

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Robert Donachie Capitol Hill and Health Care Reporter

Republican and Democratic leadership in Congress is really hurting, taking serious dives in public approval in the lead up to the November midterm elections.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has the most positive rating of anyone — Republican or Democrat — in congressional leadership at the moment, according to a Tuesday Gallup poll.

Some 40 percent of Americans view Ryan, who abruptly announced his retirement in January, in a favorable light, an eight point decline since November 2016. (RELATED: Ryan Announces His Retirement)

Ryan’s counterpart in the upper chamber, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, is the least favorable member of congressional leadership. Only 24 percent of Americans have a positive view of McConnell. He is also the only congressional leader to poll under 50 percent within his own party.

Democratic leadership is tied. Both Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi have a 29 percent favorability rating. Pelosi’s rating is the same as it was in October 2010, just one month before Democrats lost 63 seats in the midterms that year. She also only garners a 55 percent approval rating among Democrats.

Gallup conducted the poll over the phone from June 1 – 13. The responses came from a random sample of 1,520 adults from all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points with a 95 percent confidence interval.

House Democrats hope to pick up 24 seats in November to regain control of the lower chamber and their odds look favorable.

Fifty House Republicans are either resigning, retiring, lost their primaries or are seeking other office in 2018. Roughly 22 House members retire each election cycle, so to say the party is going through a seismic shift is not a misnomer.

Its been nearly 25 years — since 1994 — that a majority party incurred as many losses as Republicans have this year. Democrats controlled the House leading up the to the 1994 midterms. The party had 28 members announce retirement and Republicans subsequently took them to the cleaners, picking up 54 seats and outright claiming the majority in what is now known as the “Republican Revolution.”

Senate Democrats are trying to pick up at least two seats to take the majority in the upper chamber in November, but Republicans appear to have a shot at keeping the chamber.

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