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Voters View All Top Congressional Leaders More Negatively

Friday, July 29, 2011

House Speaker John Boehner is the only congressional leader whose favorables are up noticeably this month, but his negatives have risen even more as the debate over raising the federal debt ceiling drags on.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 42% of Likely U.S. Voters hold at least a somewhat favorable view of Boehner, up from 37% last month but still down from his peak of 47% in March. The new finding includes 11% with a Very Favorable opinion of the House speaker.

But Boehner’s unfavorables are up to their highest level this year. Forty-four percent (44%) now regard the Ohio congressman at least somewhat unfavorably, up from 36% in June. This includes 22% with a Very Unfavorable opinion. Fourteen percent (14%) are undecided about him. (To see survey question wording, click here.) Last October, befor he became Speaker, Boehner’s unfavorables were even higher at 48%.

Sixty-four percent (64%) of voters have an unfavorable opinion of House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, who stepped down as speaker following the GOP takeover of the House in January. This includes 45% with a Very Unfavorable view and ties her worst-ever ratings, last achieved in February. Twenty-eight percent (28%) hold a favorable opinion of the San Francisco congresswoman, with 10% Very Favorable toward her.

Just 27% share a favorable view of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, with seven percent (7%) Very Favorable. The Nevada Democrat is viewed unfavorably by 53%, including 33% with a Very Unfavorable opinion. Twenty percent (20%) have no opinion of him. In late May, Reid’s favorables hit an all-time low of 21%.

Voter approval of the job Congress is doing also has fallen to a new low - for the second month in a row. Just six percent (6%) now rate Congress' performance as good or excellent.

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The national survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on July 26-27, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

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