November 16th, 2010
11:32 AM ET
3 years ago

CNN Poll: Democrats divided on Pelosi as party's House leader

Washington (CNN) – Democrats across the country are split over whether Speaker Nancy Pelosi should remain party leader in the House of Representatives next year, according to a new national poll.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Tuesday also indicates that among all Americans, the current House speaker remains an unpopular figure while House Republican leader John Boehner, who will succeed Pelosi as speaker in the new Congress, is still not well known to many Americans.

See the full results after the jump:

Full results (pdf)

Forty-five percent of Democrats questioned in the survey say they would prefer Pelosi to serve as House minority leader, with 47 percent saying they would prefer another Democratic member in the House.

"Whatever divides the Democratic party on that question, gender and ideology seem to have nothing to do with it," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "There are no differences between Democratic men and Democratic women on whether Pelosi should continue to lead the House Democrats, nor is there a major difference between liberal Democrats and Democrats who call themselves moderates or conservatives."

The Republicans won back at least 60 House seats in this month's midterm elections (six races remain unresolved) and come January, will control the chamber for the first time in four years. With the Democrats going from the majority to minority party, they lose the House speaker position to the Republicans. Pelosi, who became a major target of Republicans in the midterms, is now running to serve as minority leader, a move that has triggered some opposition by moderate and conservative Democrats.

According to the poll, one third of all Americans have a favorable opinion of Pelosi, with 52 percent saying they hold an unfavorable opinion, and 15 percent unsure.

Thirty percent of Americans have a favorable view of the incoming House speaker, with 22 percent saying they have an unfavorable view of Boehner and 48 percent saying they have never heard of the congressman from Ohio or don't know enough about him to form an opinion.

"That's par for the course for incoming House Speakers," says Holland. "In November, 1994, 46 percent had no opinion of Newt Gingrich and in November, 2006, 42 percent were unfamiliar with Pelosi. But if Boehner follows their paths, he may never be well-liked. Neither Gingrich nor Pelosi every have had a favorable rating over 50 percent."

The poll indicates that most Americans are not familiar with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Twenty-six percent say they say have a favorable view of the Republican senator from Kentucky, with 23 percent saying they hold an unfavorable view and 51 percent unsure.

The public is more familiar with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, with only 37 percent unsure about the Democrat from Nevada, who just survived a tough re-election challenge in this year's election. Twenty-eight percent say they see Reid in a favorable way, with 35 percent saying they hold an unfavorable opinion.

The survey's release comes on the same day that Senate Democrats and Republicans vote on their leadership, and comes one day before House Democrats and Republicans vote on their leadership.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted November 11-14, with 1,014 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

Check out CNN's new Polling Center, which provides the most comprehensive polling data of any news organization in the political landscape.

– CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report


Filed under: CNN Polls • John Boehner • Nancy Pelosi • Polls
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. Me

    Stop being cowards and pick Nancy Pelosi
    I swear, Democratic elected officials can be the biggest cowards in the face of the slightest oppostion and caving when ever the opprotunity presents itself. DO NOT COMPROMISE WITH REPUBLICANS! All they do is waterdown and ruin good legislation and provide coperate welfare at the expense of The People!
    FIGHT FOR THE PEOPLE and the people will fight for you!

    I'm Kelby Pierson, and I approve this message

    November 16, 2010 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  2. John Lubeck

    Nancy Pelosi is too hungry for personal power to realize or care about the damage she does to her own party. Nancy do us a favor and step down.

    November 16, 2010 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  3. Davis Mtns

    Pelosi is arrogant and self serving which should surprise no one but refusing to step back and let other lead after horrible defeat is another shining example. For the GOP she is the gift that keeps on giving.

    November 16, 2010 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  4. Bob Ramos

    As Speaker, Pelosi has done yeoman work. However, it is now time for us Democrats to change leaders. Rightly or wrongly, Pelosi has become a lighting rod for criticisim. A number of Republican candidates won their seats by aligning the Democratic candidate with Pelosi. Remove her a a national leader and one divisive issue is gone.

    November 16, 2010 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  5. Right Leaning Independent

    Keep Pelosi as the minority leader and in front of the American public!! Considering she is a far left liberal that is very much despised, she will help bring down the Dems again in 2012!!!!!

    November 16, 2010 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  6. phatboi

    In other news, no one cares what liberals think about Pelosi because she got the boot and what they think about it doesn't matter.

    November 16, 2010 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  7. gt

    surley they are not that supid..... she just cost them the house....if they do pick her it just shows they are like lemming going over the cliff....

    November 16, 2010 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  8. Dan

    She is too polarizing. Any political party needs someone more inclusive as its leader. The polarizers can be further down the line.

    November 16, 2010 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  9. Brainwashed by GOP

    OMG!
    Since I have never been polled ever, I believe that the Dems need Miss Pelosi big time.

    Am in favor very much with NP

    She is a very strong and brilliant leader and has what it takes to get the job done.

    Nancy Pelosi is one strong woman

    The Dems need NP!!!!!

    November 16, 2010 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  10. Danny Cali

    Stay strong Nancy you did the right thing for American at the end you are the one winner. So, do not care what the other people and the party of "NO" said.

    November 16, 2010 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  11. Rickster

    To all the Dim Party representatives out there.....please, I'm begging you, please appoint the certifiably insane lunatic from San Francisco as the leader of your party. There's still a handful of dims left in the house and appointing Pelosi as the leader again should finish the job in the next elections.

    November 16, 2010 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  12. Gale

    I think what it really boils down to, is what can Pelosi have on other party members, and how much do they owe her? After all, she is from a long termed political family. Knows all the scams, tricks, and lies that can be used. Go ahead Dems...make my day (2012)

    November 16, 2010 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  13. Brainwashed by GOP

    In the first place, everyone can put the blame on John Boehner for Miss Pelosi's downfall.

    He is so star stuck to win the house, it was he who started dissing Nancy Pelosi from day one when she took over the gavel.

    Boehner is one dumb sucker. He is/was so afraid of Pelosi's brillant intelligence and he not having any at all, he and his GOP goons decided to bring her down and the media fell for it all hook, line and sinker.

    Heaven knows all the hateful email's that circulated about her. I received many from my so called conservitive friends and lost many in the past few years over this.

    America is one of the dumbest countries ever for falling for all the hatred and lies that the the GOP spewed. America is even believing more lies about G W Bush and his numbers rising in the polls. Unbelieable!!!!

    November 16, 2010 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  14. SuperD

    Gawd the Democrats are so stupid. They still don't get it. They think they lost the election because they couldn't communicate their "message". If that is not delusional, I don't know what is! And they think they got a shot in 2012 with her as the poster boy? Stupid I say!!

    November 16, 2010 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  15. Phil

    The most effective Speaker ever, and people hate that, that's why the want her out. She's not arrogant, just strong and thats' why the Repugs want her out. They can't handle a strong and powerful woman.

    November 16, 2010 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  16. jeremy

    nancy P is a waste of our tax paying dollars. shes worthless and indecisive. shes as worthless as hillary clinton. Good riddens to her. I hope obama is next oust anyway possible. hes a anti christ and only got in because of illegal and blacks voting him in just to get a black person in. I saw it at polls. I hope america rids out congress and starts up a new congress with fresh ideas and less corruption. Down with the current government they need to be taken out.

    November 16, 2010 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  17. Nancy Pelosi, the wicked witch of the west, the DemocRAT gift that just keeps on giving

    The DEMOcRATS can't possibly be stupid enough to give the keys to the car back to Pelosi after she drove the car into the ditch??!! Shouldn't she be forced to sit in the backl seat?? HAHAHAHA!!! I just LOVE that car analogy! Cracks me up every time....

    November 16, 2010 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  18. g

    Republicans please you nor the democrats won. The democrats only have to win 30 or less seats to regain control. Work for a better america starts now. If either party decides not to meet in the middle we voters will pay. remember both senate and congress need to agree to get work done, so republicans don't pat your self on the back just yet. Hopefuly the blame game is over, but if not the pay with the big mouth will win.

    November 16, 2010 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  19. ken

    The democrat party does not need any weak-kneed leader as speaker, so they should keep Pelosi as leader.

    November 16, 2010 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  20. Take America Back from the Libs

    I am so very werary of hearing the constant dripping from the Liberal Media at all the rhetoric coming from the Left.....who cares what Pelosi the wicked witch says! Or for that matter what any of these Liberal "talking heads".....the truth is they KNOW they lost but maybe if somehow they can mouth it enough then matters will change.....NO THEY WILL NOT!
    What the Liberal (and especiall Obambi) need to realize (and yes they do not realize it) is the Democrat party lost because of Obambi's Liberal Left Wing agenda.....nothing more, sure the ecomomy was one of the results of his agenda but the main issue is; Americans do not like nor want to hear their country put down....We have the greatest nation in the world and the greatest people, greatest giving, greatest military, greatest economic system (except when our leaders try to change it into a socialistic one) the greatest minds, and determination of any other nation ever in all the world. If Obambi would move to the center and drop his "sharing of the wealth" mentality.....he too might become a 2 term President.....but I doubt he can.

    November 16, 2010 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  21. John

    I'm torn, on one hand Pelosi and Obama have done more to destroy our country than anyone else in history but if she stays it will guarantee a COMPLETE GOP take back of our government.

    November 16, 2010 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  22. kat

    If the Dems are stupid enough to put her back in charge, they'll do the Repubs a huge favor. This old bag is full of herself. She is almost as arrogant as BHO. I would love to see her in charge again. . We can drive the bus full of Dems right over the cliff.

    November 16, 2010 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  23. Tara

    I would just like to say that if you want to know what republicans are like all you have to do is look at these comments it's all about name calling and thinking that there better than everyone else Nancy Pelosi has been an awesome leader and will continue to be an awesome leader if they let her!

    November 16, 2010 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  24. Whatever

    GO NANCY GO!!!! How dare the republicans attack her and then cry foul when something is said about a female republican!!! HYPOCRITES!!!! I will say she was the most effective and successful speaker. We can look for new leadership in 2016. If the republicans say anything about Nancy in 2012, to try and keep their seats, they will be called and voted out for their stupidity. The must govern and deliver on those promises they made in 2010. The republicans hold the majority in the House, so they do not need any democrats to vote on their proposed legislation. God bless the United States of America!!!!!!

    November 16, 2010 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  25. mleddy

    MIss Pelosi's downfall was going against the majority of the American people. The Democrats who lost their seats lost because they choose to ignore their constituents. The Democrats or anyone who voted for Obama care thought "we the people" are not smart enough to know what we wanted. The majority of Americans did not and do not want the government involved in our healthcare. The healthcare bill may either be repealed or determined to be unconstitutional. The healthcare bill could be stripped apart so much that it is prooven inefective. We must start cutting programs such as social security, medicare, medicaid, defense, and eliminate alot of the current tax breaks if we want to save our nation. We cannot continue down this road even if we want to. Money does not grow on trees! Pelosi is not capable of seeing this so I pray that the democrats choose someone who is more moderate and is willing to realisticly take the necessary steps to save this nation.

    November 16, 2010 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
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