Tuesday, November 05, 2019


Spotted in Monmouth University's write-up of its latest poll:
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi earns a 31% approve and 45% disapprove job rating, with 24% having no opinion. This is similar to her rating of 34% approve and 45% disapprove in January 2019, the last time Monmouth asked about congressional leaders. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell earns a 15% approve and 39% disapprove rating, with 46% having no opinion. This is similar to his January 2019 rating of 15% approve and 40% disapprove.
There are two things to notice here: First, while Pelosi is widely assumed to be a universally reviled Antichrist, it's McConnell who earns more than twice as much disapproval as approval.

The second thing to note is that 40% or more of respondents in this Monmouth poll and the previous one have no opinion of McConnell, while only 24% have no opinion of Pelosi in the current poll (and, if I'm still capable of grade-school arithmetic, only 21% had no opinion in the last poll).

The Real Clear Politics averages show something similar: Disapproval of McConnell is almost double his approval (Pelosi's numbers aren't nearly as bad) -- but the no-opinion number is considerably higher for McConnell (28% for McConnell, 13.7% for Pelosi).

Why is this happening? It's happening because Republicans have worked hard to demonize Pelosi for years, while Democrats have never made the slightest effort to turn McConnell into a bogeyman, despite having ample reason to do so, and much material to work with. Americans say they hate gridlock and partisan polarization; McConnell routinely boasts about his efforts to ensure that American politics is defined by both. Americans say they'd like Congress to concentrate on solving the nation's problems; McConnell proudly proclaims that his Senate is a graveyard for House bills intended to address those problems.

And yet there's not a word from the Democrats. McConnell's face doesn't show in every attack ad -- it rarely shows up at all in Democratic advertising. Every rank-and-file right-winger sees red when told about "the Pelosi Democrats"; I've never seen the phrase "McConnell Republicans."

Demonization is good when it's entirely justified by the facts. Mitch McConnell is a terroble person who is very bad for America. Democrats ought to say so once in a while.

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