The good news, Democratic version: A plurality of Democratic voters want Nancy Pelosi to remain the party’s leader despite a four-cycle losing streak. The good news, Republican version: Er … pretty much the same thing. Politico and Morning Consult partnered on a poll of registered voters to test out Pelosi’s standing after a fifth straight special-election loss in House races this year, including a stunningly expensive loss in Georgia where Republicans made her leadership an issue. On a relatively weak 41/27 split, Democrats want her to remain House Minority Leader and the face of the Democratic Party:
Washington Democrats are pointing fingers after last week’s special election defeat in Georgia, but the party’s voters aren’t ready to jettison House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, according to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll.
While Pelosi (D-Calif.) remains among the most unpopular figures in American politics, few Democratic voters in the survey blame her for Democrat Jon Ossoff’s defeat last week or for Democratic losses in 2010, 2014 and 2016. …
But among Democratic voters, just over a quarter, 27 percent, want Pelosi booted as the party’s leader in the chamber. That’s fewer than the 41 percent who want Pelosi to stay, and the 31 percent who don’t have an opinion.
Politico headlines the poll results by noting that “Dems not ready to dump Pelosi,” but that’s about the best that can be said for this result. In dozens of demographics reported by Morning Consult in the crosstabs, not a single one has a majority supporting Pelosi in her current position. The best demo result is from Democratic women, who only support her 43/22. Even more telling is the result from the Hillary Clinton demo, in which Pelosi only gets 39/31 support — not all that far outside the margin of error.
Democrats should be far more worried than reassured from the rest of the poll’s demos. Overall, registered voters want Pelosi out 43/26, a dynamic that suggests Pelosi’s career as a Republican piñata in campaign ads is far from over. It’s no surprise that Republicans would want her out by a 60/19 margin, but independent voters want to give her the heave-ho too, 45/16. That doesn’t improve much when narrowing down to independent women, only 14% of whom want Pelosi to remain in leadership, with 35% opposed.
Voters in all three overall income demos want Pelosi to step down, and by majorities in the $50-100K (50/24) and $100k+ (51/33) categories. She scores a plurality among African-American voters, but only 40/23, while Hispanic voters lean toward her ouster 39/36. Pluralities reject Pelosi in all four regions, even in the Democratic-heavy northeast (39/28 for replacement), with the worst result coming in the west (46/28), from which Pelosi hails.
So yes, it’s true that Democrats aren’t ready to get rid of Pelosi, but practically everyone else is, including in traditional Democratic voting blocs. Republicans should hope that Democrats don’t peer under the hood too closely at these results and do something intelligent before the 2018 elections.