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Among Liberals, Pelosi More Popular Than Congress

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi continues to maintain solid job approval ratings throughout the nation, with 50 percent of adults approving of her performance in her first weeks of wielding the gavel.

According to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, Pelosi's disapproval rating for her job performance is 31 percent, suggesting that Republican efforts at muddying the San Francisco Democrat's image have not been successful.

The rating places Pelosi in a much stronger political position than the last time the House flipped control. Twelve years ago, Republican Newt Gingrich of Georgia became speaker and instantly became a public lightning rod.

According to a Jan. 29, 1995 Post-ABC poll, Gingrich's approval rating was 40 percent while 48 percent of adults disapproved of his job performance four weeks into his tenure as speaker.

Pelosi, however, would be wise to look out for the political icebergs ahead. The overall approval of the Democratic majority in Congress is floundering at most levels -- particularly among the liberal base of the electorate that should be Pelosi's bedrock of support.

Asked whether they approve or disapprove of the 110th Congress, 41 percent of adults approved, while 54 percent disapproved. That number is up from before the election, when congressional job approval ratings were in the low 30s or upper 20s. The approval number is also similar to what the new Republican Congress garnered a dozen years ago.

Of those who self-identified as ideologically liberal in today's poll, the job approval rating for Congress was 49-46. Again, some of that could be left-over residue of anger at the 12-year reign of House Republicans. But it does reveal that the first seven weeks has not produced a sea change of popularity among liberals and their support for Congress.

But ideological liberals HAVE thrown their lot with Pelosi as an individual, giving her a 68-19 approve/disapprove rating among the group.

And moderate voters who tilted away from Bush, the Iraq war and congressional Republicans last fall -- who've yet to fully embrace the new Congress as a whole -- are in some cases are voicing a more than 2-to-1 approval of Madame Speaker.

Ideological moderates approve of her job performance 55-26, while self-identified independents support her work 45-34 so far.

Region (Favorable/Ufavorable)

Northeast (48/33)

Midwest (53/26)

South (47/34)

West (55/33)

By Paul Kane  |  February 26, 2007; 5:54 PM ET
Categories:  Dem. Leaders  
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Nancy Pelosi is popular with liberals?
Hey, no offense Paul, but that's like saying hockey players like ice. Pelosi is a far left kook, and certainly not the sharpest knife in the drawer. The Dems have done a pretty decent job of hiding her up till now; even THEY realize that every time she opens her mouth, most folks cringe. It won't take long for folks to realize what a nutty refugee from the 60's she really is. Wait'll she starts bringing out her favorite topics: a "royalty" (can you say: TAX) on oil company profits - even Hugo Chavez would shy away from that one. I could list a hundred of them, but as said, folks will find out just how off the shelf this loon is soon enough.

Posted by: muskrat | February 26, 2007 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Interesting that Pelosi is still doing well in spite of "Republican efforts at muddying the San Francisco Democrat's image." I'd guess that everyone is going to give her a pass for at least a little while. Is there such a thing as a honeymoon period for new Speakers?

Comparisons to Gingrich aren't apt. Gingrich was a lightning rod because he wanted to be and the words coming out of his mouth reflected that. Pelosi is much, much smoother. Witness her response to the totally fabricated plane travel scandal: not a word. Contrast that with HRC's over-the-top response to Geffen's baiting comments when silence would've been more productive and appropriate.

When was the last time Congress had positive (>50%) approval ratings? 1942?

You're right in that part of the current disapproval could be left over from the 109th which was surely the worst Congress in 50 years. Congress-hating became popular during Reagan's tenure as he sought to blame them for any of his failures. Hard to set those old habits aside and accept the fact that you elected these people.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | February 27, 2007 9:00 AM | Report abuse

I love Nancy!! We need more women like her in Congress...movers ...shakers. Maybe the next election will clean out the rest of the Republicans in Congress and the country cam move forward. Lots of changes should be made and maybe women would dare to make them. My main gripe is that there are no "one issue bills" which is what they all should be .. short and to the point so that everyone knows what they are voting on!! Many, many short bills with no "pork" attached.
The founding fathers would be appalled at how Congress conducts its self now. The people in Congress should not be important but the laws they pass should be.

Posted by: Claire Petuck | February 27, 2007 11:21 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: HILLARY IS A SHEMALE | February 27, 2007 11:26 AM | Report abuse

I was just visiting Washington D.C. and while there read the Washington Post every morning---today, one day later upon my return I am missing reading a REAL NEWSPAPER but have signed up to read it online (naturally I found my way to the blog section!) Your Pelosi column is my first read of the day. In Bloomington, Indiana, there is a contingency of Democratic Women's Caucus members, and Monroe County Democratic Party members, who are thrilled that Nancy Pelosi has assumed her position. I'd like to share a portion of the words she spoke when visiting Monroe County Democratic Party for the annual Jefferson Jackson Dinner in 2001:

""In October of 2001, I became the first woman elected to the top leadership of either house of Congress. I'd been involved in politics my entire life and in Congress, at that point, for 14 years. I ran for Democratic whip, the second-highest-ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives (now I'm the Democratic leader). When I won, I was flooded with congratulations from all over the country, many of them from women who were excited that we'd broken through this marble ceiling into the highest reaches of government. I was honored.

Shortly after my election, the top congressional leaders were invited to the White House for a meeting with the president to talk about the agenda for the next session of Congress. I'd been there on many occasions, so I wasn't particularly apprehensive. But when the door closed behind us, I saw that there were very few other people at the table with the president, and of course they were all men. It occurred to me that this was unlike any meeting that I'd ever attended at the White House. In fact, because a woman was there as a top elected leader and not as staff, it was unlike any meeting ever held at the White House.

It was really quite profound. I realized the opportunity that I had, and it was poignant because it made me think, Why did it take this long? It sounds strange, but as I sat down, I felt that I was not alone. For an instant, I felt as though Susan B. Anthony, Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton - everyone who'd fought for women's right to vote and for the empowerment of women in politics, in their professions, and in their lives - were there with me in the room. Those women were the ones who had done the heavy lifting, and it was as if they were saying, At last we have a seat at the table.

The president welcomed me and congratulated me on my election, but no one at the meeting said anything about the historical significance of the occasion. And I didn't make the point because I thought it would be appropriate for everything to be as normal as possible. But my thought was, We want more. I felt uplifted, as if I were seeing over the top of a mountain. And to tell you the truth, we can handle it. Women can breathe the air at these altitudes, we can do the job that needs to be done, and the day will come when we'll have a woman president of the United States. I'm sure it will happen soon." ~2001, Nancy Pelosi speech

Sophia Travis
Monroe County Council, Indiana

Posted by: Sophia Travis | February 28, 2007 8:13 AM | Report abuse

A majority of the American mothers want this war to show their sympathy for Arab women. So they should not complain when their child gets hurt or die in this hopeless war. Crusaders in the 12th century did the same and lost, so why should mankind win today ?? Its because too many people profit from heroine and because the Arab civilization is 1000 times older then ours. Even if the Arabs don't sell a drop of oil from this day, the will survive on their believes and insects of the desert. And the biggest fear is that no western will stay alive under these conditions. So this is a women war and as long as Pelosi is speaker, this war continues and it will continue for another 8 years if Hillary becomes president because she looks at those millions of little clits cut of every year and those millions of women locked away every day. For that Arabs should be condemned. But the first big terrorists that hit the American homeland is your government. So there are 2 things to work for and that is gallow your government and fight the Arabs until eternity. IN SHORT THE MESSAGE OF THE WESTERN WOMEN TO THERE SPOUSES IS QUOT FIGHT OR FU_CK YOURSELF ENDQUOT. ----- But one should not forget that there are 2 types of terrorists i.e. the extreme christian terrorist and the muslim extreme terrorist whom are both a danger to this world and therefor both groups should be wiped out.

Posted by: jwh | February 28, 2007 10:49 AM | Report abuse

I took my boot training in Baltimore during WW2 and remember block parties for servicemen and women on the mayor's block. Our new speaker probably was one of the kids running around. Now if we can just make Hillary president, maybe we can get out of Iraq!

Posted by: Jim Richard | February 28, 2007 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Pelosi has balls and gets things done, unlike many Democratic Congressmen.

Posted by: Chicago David | February 28, 2007 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Nancy Pelosi is NOT a "far left kook." Trust me, you don't know what "left" is anymore if you think that. Also, why do men always feel very confident saying women leaders aren't "the sharpest knife in the drawer." She is quite obviously very bright and shrewd. She knows what she's doing--that's why America likes her. If she's not smart, what did you call Hastert? Boehner? Ted Stevens? Not a sharp knife in the bunch. And then there's Bush.

Posted by: Sagacity | February 28, 2007 2:49 PM | Report abuse

I would agree that Nancy Pelosi is not Leftist, nor a kook. Those of us on the Left wish she'd be more true to her constituency. Voters mandated a stop to this war. Period. I don't see this Congress, nor Ms. Pelosi, doing much but nibbling inadequately around the edges. I find Speaker Pelosi to be very, very bright, very able, and very disappointing.

Posted by: Kathleen McGee | February 28, 2007 4:38 PM | Report abuse

After a bump on the road with the Jack Murtha mis-calculation early in her leadership, Pelosi has re-adjusted. But what was she thinking giving shady Rep. William Jefferson a seat on the Homeland Security Committee? She tried to justify it on Larry King live last night and she did not do a good job doing so.

Posted by: midas20874 | February 28, 2007 8:15 PM | Report abuse

What can I say: I voted for the Madame Speaker 5 times during the past 10 years I've lived here in San Francisco; and she does not even have to campaign here (period). I love her. She is nothing short of class in the entire Congress. If Foley can be in charge of the congressional pages, then surely Jefferson can be Homeland Security Chairman (as far as I'm concerned)! Just open your eyes Republicans. Look at his district in New Orleans! And the bile of this Administration. I'm speaking to the lock-in-step 30% (Republican) who wouldn't vote Democrat if the good Lord Jesus Christ came down from heaven and lead them to the pearly gates. It is a sad state of affairs that Americans would allow this Iraq war to be fought on the cheap and the damaged cost of young lives (Americans and Iraqis) honestly did not vote for. Open your eyes and face it: Over 50% of the population of Iraq is only 15 years old and younger. We will be in there forever whether Nancy Pelosi is Speaker or Not (like it or not). The Madame Speaker is just the best for the job otherwise she would not be there. And like President W says in regards to his legacy: "we'll be dead" anyway. So Jefferson's membership surely can't be any worse than President W's handling of 911 and his quagmire of a homeland security agency he has created. Its just a MESS (hypocrites or not)! And it will take at least until January 20, 2009 before the two bodies of Congress obtains a more overwhelming majority of Democrats and Rove, Cheney and Bush is gone before we'll see the light of day for all our troops to come home and really protect our homeland. You go Nancy~the red, white and blue states got your back!

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Nancy Pelosi is a very skillful political operator. We have not had a Speaker of her quality since Tip O'Neill - and she might turn out to be more effective than Tip, after a while. She handled the Jack Murtha thing very well. Murtha deserved some serious recognition - his endorsement of a Liberal position mad a difference in several close races. And I think Ms. Pelosi had an idea that some large number of Representatives would prefer Hoyer or be annoyed about Mr Murtha's ethical problems. So Pelosi got to show her solidarity with Murtha, at small cost. And she got to show Murtha that if he wants to really be in the leadership, he can clean up his act.

Posted by: brooklyndiogenes | March 1, 2007 2:34 PM | Report abuse

(1) Not wanting to be accused of gender bias, many respondents are going to be reluctant to knock the FIRST woman speaker.

(2)"COME ON - 50% OF ADULTS DONT KNOW WHO PELOSI IS." (I agree on that point with the commenter above, Hillary is a Shemale).

(3) Rosie O'Donnell said on The View this week that you lose credibility with her if you've had a face lift. So I guess Rosie has little faith in SanFranNan.

(4) Everyone knows Rosie is adored by the world. Once her opinion becomes common knowledge Pelosi is over.

Actually, I think that's why John Kerry really lost .... all the facial "tune-ups."

Posted by: Maggie | March 9, 2007 7:34 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: f | March 18, 2007 12:23 PM | Report abuse

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