Gallup: Boehner suddenly a hot commodity

posted at 10:12 am on January 19, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

The American public has taken its first long look at new House Speaker John Boehner — and so far, they like what they see.  Gallup shows a sudden and significant rise in approval for the Republican leader after nearly two years of diffidence, a trend that started just before the midterms.  Now his approval nearly doubles his disapproval, which is exactly what happened at first with his predecessor:

Americans’ opinions of House Speaker John Boehner have improved considerably since last fall, rising a total of 15 percentage points, including eight points since immediately after the midterm elections. Though one in three Americans are still unfamiliar with Boehner, his ratings are now much more positive than negative, a shift from prior to the election, when they were about equally positive and negative. …

The improvement in Boehner’s ratings is similar to what occurred for Nancy Pelosi when she rose to the speakership after the 2006 elections. In October 2006, Americans were largely divided in their views of her — 26% favorable and 28% unfavorable. After she became speaker, 44% of Americans viewed her favorably and 22% unfavorably.

Of course, that isn’t how it ended for Pelosi.  At the midterms, Pelosi hit her nadir at 29/55, which has only slightly mitigated since to 33/54.  Her bump in approval dissipated almost immediately after taking the gavel; it didn’t last out the spring of 2007.   Instead, it went back to the all-but-even level until Barack Obama took office and Pelosi took control of the agenda.  Within six months, her approval ratings fell to 34/50 and have never recovered since.

Meanwhile, Gallup has some good news for Obama.  His approval ratings have bumped back up over the 50% mark to 53%, with 45% disapproving.  In October, Obama has scored a 47/50, the worst from Gallup in his term.  Voters are almost certainly reacting to the Tucson speech, but the bump comes at a good time for the President as he wades back into policy debates with Boehner and the rest of the GOP on Capitol Hill.

What lessons can Boehner take from these results?  He has a window in which to explain to an electorate open to his arguments the reasons and necessity of the Republican agenda on fiscal responsibility and the need for limited government.  History shows that window will be narrow, and will close as Speakers have to conduct business in the House.  He may be able to extend that window by avoiding the nasty, partisan tone Pelosi adopted almost immediately as Speaker, but the necessity of battling Democrats on floor maneuvers makes that a difficult proposition.  Boehner’s pledge for openness will, if adopted, help expose the nature of partisanship in the legislature, which could help him expand support rather than opposition.  Right now, it looks as if most people blame Pelosi for the partisan games, and with Democrats choosing to continue her leadership, she makes a pretty good foil for Boehner.


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Orange Alert!

pseudonominus on January 19, 2011 at 10:16 AM

“You have no power here. Be gone, before somebody drops a house on you too,” -Glinda.

Akzed on January 19, 2011 at 10:20 AM

I heard Boehner cried when he saw these poll number.

Doughboy on January 19, 2011 at 10:22 AM

“numbers” not “number”! Must proofread!

Doughboy on January 19, 2011 at 10:22 AM

Johnboy, use this as an opportunity to get something done. Show leadership, show some cajones and people will follow. Apply the lessons learned from the election…listen to the people. Basically, be the anti-liberal and you will go far.

search4truth on January 19, 2011 at 10:23 AM

Boehner must know how fleeting positive polls are. The fastest way to bomb is to give the perception of “business as usual”.

cartooner on January 19, 2011 at 10:24 AM

Boehner could wind up being one of the best, bipartisan speakers ever. Bringing pastry, and latte’s to the Dems in the house, each and every morning. The press would still spin it to benefit the Dems.

capejasmine on January 19, 2011 at 10:25 AM

“You have no power here. Be gone, before somebody drops a house on you too,” -Glinda.

Akzed on January 19, 2011 at 10:20 AM

Oh my goodness, you just made my day with that post! Thread freaking winner!

Dark-Star on January 19, 2011 at 10:26 AM

Meanwhile, Gallup has some good news for Obama. His approval ratings have bumped back up over the 50% mark to 53%, with 45% disapproving.

Well, he’s got a few days to bow to the Chinese emperor. That should take care of the ratings bump.

BobMbx on January 19, 2011 at 10:27 AM

I like Boehner. I believe he’ll do his best and begin to right the ship.

Remember though, he needs support … the dems and the blood libel media will do anything, and I mean anything, to stop him.

darwin on January 19, 2011 at 10:27 AM

“You have no power here. Be gone, before somebody drops a house on you too,” -Glinda.

Akzed on January 19, 2011 at 10:20 AM

Violent Rhetoric Rating (VRR): 2

BobMbx on January 19, 2011 at 10:28 AM

Johnny B is a good man from humble beginnings and I don’t think he has forgotten from whence he came. I like that. I don’t care if he’s not polished, or if he cries over some things. I want him up there wielding a sharp elbow and leading that House back to fiscal sanity.

Go Johnny, go!

ted c on January 19, 2011 at 10:28 AM

Remember though, he needs support … the dems and the blood libel media will do anything, and I mean anything, to stop him.

darwin on January 19, 2011 at 10:27 AM

BoehnerHitler…nah..it doesn’t sing.

BobMbx on January 19, 2011 at 10:29 AM

What lessons can Boehner take from these results?

Don’t be a liberal.

forest on January 19, 2011 at 10:29 AM

He may be able to extend that window by avoiding the nasty, partisan tone Pelosi adopted almost immediately as Speaker,

If he adopts a non-partisan, can’t we all get along tone (yet againg), our opportunity to save this country is over along with Boehner’s approval rating. You don’t make bargains with the devil and the American people know it.

Wine_N_Dine on January 19, 2011 at 10:29 AM

I like him. The best picture of him is the one where he is looking sideways at Obama with a contemptuous look on his face. That picture just said it all.

NJ Red on January 19, 2011 at 10:40 AM

WHY OBAMA IS SCARY SKINNY – HE HAS WORMS
Why is Obama so skinny, well the National Enquirer thinks “he’s secretly battling stomach parasites!’

Nearly Nobody on January 19, 2011 at 10:40 AM

The vital issue,of course, is how does this affect Tim Pawlenty?

Dr. Carlo Lombardi on January 19, 2011 at 10:40 AM

Boehner…my favorite GOPer in DC for the past few years. I’d campaign my heart out if he ever ran for POTUS. He is going to great as Speaker.

JetBoy on January 19, 2011 at 10:47 AM

Ditto search4truth

cmsinaz on January 19, 2011 at 10:49 AM

Pelosi will go down as the most incompetent Leader of the House in history. Her refusal to listen to the American people was indicative how the whole administration has done business since the first day. If Boehner’s approval was not rising after that comparison, it could slow the process to repair the damage done by the last Congress.

volsense on January 19, 2011 at 10:53 AM

I like Boehner. I believe he’ll do his best and begin to right the ship.

Remember though, he needs support … the dems and the blood libel media will do anything, and I mean anything, to stop him.

darwin on January 19, 2011 at 10:27 AM

I like him too, and he will have my support as long as he sticks to the conservative principles that got him elected.

UltimateBob on January 19, 2011 at 10:53 AM

Why is Obama so skinny, well the National Enquirer thinks “he’s secretly battling stomach parasites!’

Nearly Nobody on January 19, 2011 at 10:40 AM

What, did he get some bad Kobe beef or something?

UltimateBob on January 19, 2011 at 10:55 AM

WHY OBAMA IS SCARY SKINNY – HE HAS WORMS
Why is Obama so skinny, well the National Enquirer thinks “he’s secretly battling stomach parasites!’

Nearly Nobody on January 19, 2011 at 10:40 AM

Quick what do other Banana Republic leaders do when they are brought low by a malady that local medicine cannot heal? Why they go to the US and receive the best medical care that their freshly laundered money can buy.

How utterly embarrassing for our country.

Lily on January 19, 2011 at 10:57 AM

What, did he get some bad Kobe beef or something?

UltimateBob on January 19, 2011 at 10:55 AM

Michelle forgot to wash his arugala.

LASue on January 19, 2011 at 11:21 AM

Who’s this Pelosi guy?

Sounds vaguely familiar. Didn’t he or she used to matter or something?

Professor Blather on January 19, 2011 at 11:26 AM

I don’t know about this or any poll… I think they are all agenda driven and are reflective of what the commissioner wants… I just don’t believe them.

CCRWM on January 19, 2011 at 11:26 AM

Voters are almost certainly reacting to the Tucson speech,

Has anyone seen a picture of him fist-bumping Michelle immediately after his speach? Such a classy guy.

LASue on January 19, 2011 at 11:29 AM

Cool, get the conservative message out there.

Speakup on January 19, 2011 at 11:35 AM

I like Boehner. I hope that he’s able to do the things he wants but my faith in that actually happening has taken a beating over the years.

scalleywag on January 19, 2011 at 11:46 AM

Boehner suddenly a hot commodity

Not so suddenly for some of us… ;p

Fortunata on January 19, 2011 at 12:15 PM

Voters are almost certainly reacting to the Tucson speech, but the bump comes at a good time for the President. What lessons can Boehner take from these results?

That its good to give fluffy speeches on the backs of dead people?

Greed on January 19, 2011 at 12:25 PM

WHY OBAMA IS SCARY SKINNY – HE HAS WORMS
Why is Obama so skinny, well the National Enquirer thinks “he’s secretly battling stomach parasites!’

Nearly Nobody on January 19, 2011 at 10:40 AM

Why? Did someone see him drag his butt across the rug in the oval office?

Greed on January 19, 2011 at 12:29 PM

Boehner’s from the district just north of mine. He attended high school at the Catholic school (Moeller) nearest my public high school. From a large, working-class family, he’s middle-America all the way.

Laugh all you want about his crying, but when he got verklempt on Election Night while speaking of living his American Dream, I’m sure that liberals scoffed. But moderates and independents had to ask themselves whether they ever wanted Democratic control, creating the possibiltiy of a Nancy Pelosi, over anything ever again.

BuckeyeSam on January 19, 2011 at 12:34 PM

Now his approval nearly doubles his disapproval, which is exactly what happened at first with his predecessor

Of course: The first thing Pelosi did was stick it to the Repbulican Congressmen. And people cheered.

Now Boehner is sticking it to the Democrat Congressmen. And people are cheering.

The difference in how it turns out this time around – if there is a difference – will be in what legislation Boehner gets through.

logis on January 19, 2011 at 1:19 PM

I think the era of “getting legislation thru” is mostly over except for legislation to repeal and defund da gov. There are damn few laws that are needed except those that might hasten a decrease in size and scope of this obnoxious federal government.

We need to continue and expand our public relations campaign to keep the American people on our side through to the next election and you know the media and the Dems will be trying to do everything they can to malign this congress and any attempt at reining in this out of control gov.

shmendrick on January 19, 2011 at 1:38 PM

I like Boehner, although he’s still on my probation list.

The first test was on his acceptance. A lot of people laughed at him for crying, but I saw it (and his words) as a sign of humility… which is something that is needed in politics today. While the verdict will be out for some time, at least he is striking the right chord for what is needed.

dominigan on January 19, 2011 at 2:50 PM

I think most of Obama’s approval is based on a personal level. The idea that he is now neutered, it makes people more generous with their opinions (the fear is gone).

Obviously if this were a Republican prez who presided over a crap economy for 2 years, with skyrocketing gas prices, (with a liberal media to hammer away) he’d/she’d be in the low 30s.

kevinkristy on January 19, 2011 at 3:19 PM

Orange Alert!

pseudonominus on January 19, 2011 at 10:16 AM

After Snooki, people are just happy to see a mainstream Orange-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.

malclave on January 19, 2011 at 3:35 PM

Princess Nana took very few of the interview requests that she received because she’s worse than Joke Biden for saying stupid things. Boehner doesn’t have stupidity problems so we will see more substantive discussion from him.

slickwillie2001 on January 19, 2011 at 4:00 PM

After Snooki, people are just happy to see a mainstream Orange-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.

malclave on January 19, 2011 at 3:35 PM

Plus, he doesn’t speak in that Ohio dialect….unless he wants to.

Red State State of Mind on January 19, 2011 at 5:52 PM

Pelosi is more popular with me than she was a year ago.
She would increase her popularity if she quit.

seven on January 20, 2011 at 12:17 PM