Fox News Poll: Pelosi, McConnell face negative ratings heading into new term

After a contentious election that saw the Democrats win back the House and Republicans retain the Senate, voters view both parties’ congressional leaders negatively, according to the latest Fox News poll.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell receives the worst rating of the leaders included in the survey, with a net negative 16 (28 percent favorable vs. 44 percent unfavorable).  He’s followed by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (36 favorable vs. 48 unfavorable) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (28 favorable vs. 40 unfavorable) — both net negative 12.


House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy has a net negative rating of 4 (19 percent favorable vs. 23 percent unfavorable), however, he remains mostly unknown to voters with over half unable to rate him (57 percent).

It’s not all bad news though.  While ratings for Pelosi and McConnell remain underwater, the new poll shows they have both gained in popularity since August.  Polling was conducted Sunday through Tuesday, with most interviews completed prior to Pelosi and Schumer’s combative meeting at the White House on Tuesday.

Pelosi’s favorability is up 7 points since August, going from 29 to 36 percent.  That nearly matches her record of 37 percent favorable in March 2007 (roughly two months after she first became Speaker).

McConnell saw a similar boost of 6 points, and now has a record favorable of 28 percent. His previous high was 25 percent earlier this year (January 2018).

Party loyalty and independents are largely responsible for the gains.  In August, 46 percent of Democrats and 16 percent of independents viewed Pelosi favorably.  Today it’s 57 and 29 percent respectively.  For McConnell, 36 percent of Republicans and 11 percent of independents viewed him favorably in August; today those numbers stand at 45 and 27 percent.

Schumer’s ratings are holding steady.

Among Partisans

Pelosi receives a 57 percent favorable among Democrats.  That is higher than Schumer’s 40 percent among Democrats and McConnell’s 45 percent among Republicans.  McCarthy gets 29 percent among the party faithful.

For comparison, Republicans give Donald Trump a 75-point net positive rating:  87 percent favorable vs. 12 percent unfavorable.

Overall, views of Trump are slightly negative: 46 percent of voters have a favorable view of him, while 52 percent have an unfavorable one.


The holiday season is in full swing with companies hosting parties and families preparing to get together.  Will politics play a part in who people choose to spend time with this year?

Not so much.

Two-thirds of voters (66 percent) say the political views of friends and family won’t be a factor at all.

Still, for 27 percent politics will be a factor (13 percent “a major factor” vs. 14 percent “a minor factor”).

Those most likely to say it will be a factor are nonwhites (38 percent), voters under age 45 (37 percent), Democrats (35 percent), and urban voters (35 percent).

The Fox News poll is based on landline and cellphone interviews with 1,006 randomly chosen registered voters nationwide and was conducted under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R) from December 9-11, 2018.  The poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points for all registered voters.

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Author: Victoria Balara