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HUFFPOLLSTER: Nancy Pelosi Is Congress' Most Popular Leader, Which Isn't Saying Much

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NANCY PELOSI
Rep. Nancy Pelosi during her weekly on-camera press briefing in the U.S. Capitol on Aug. 2, 2013. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call) | Getty

Congressional leaders get low marks for their job performance. The President and Secretary of State score low on Syria. And the Obama data team models and maps the uninsured. This is HuffPollster for Friday, September 20, 2013.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is the most popular of the top four congressional leaders, according to a poll released Friday by Gallup.

That's not a great honor. Just 39 percent of Americans approved of the job done by Pelosi, but even fewer approved of House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) -- who received positive ratings of 37 percent, 35 percent and 33 percent, respectively.

Majorities disapproved of Reid, Boehner and Pelosi. McConnell's disapproval rating was slightly lower at 47 percent, but that was a reflection less of his being better-liked than of his being slightly less well-known than the other three.

Gallup's Andrew Dugan wrote, "Reid and Boehner are the leaders of the majority caucus in their respective chambers, and they have the lowest net approval scores among the four congressional leaders. ... This differs from a previous Gallup poll of congressional leaders' favorability, which found Pelosi -- who has led her caucus longer than any other member of the current leadership pool -- with the lowest net popularity of the four."

Notably, McConnell fared more dismally among his own party than among his rivals: His approval rating was only 33 percent among Republicans, compared to 41 percent among Democrats. Members of the GOP also approved only narrowly of Boehner, with 48 percent rating him positively.

Democrats, meanwhile, gave Pelosi a relatively glowing 68 percent positive and Reid a less enthusiastic 47 percent positive.

Approval ratings can vary significantly depending on how the question is phrased. The Gallup question included the lawmakers' titles, but didn't mention which party they belonged to. A Pew Research survey in 2012 found that just 40 percent of Americans knew that Republicans controlled the House but not the Senate.

One thing in which all four lawmakers can take solace: Their approval ratings remain far better than that of Congress as a whole. In Gallup's most recent poll, just 19 percent approved of Congress, which is the highest rating it's seen in some time.

The Gallup poll surveyed a total of 1,510 adults between Sept. 5 and Sept. 8.

SYRIA: LOW APPROVAL FOR BOTH OBAMA & KERRY - Emily Swanson: The unpopular possibility of U.S. air strikes against Syria has been at least temporarily averted, but a new HuffPost/YouGov poll finds most Americans still have little confidence in either President Barack Obama or Secretary of State John Kerry to handle the situation there. According to the new poll, just 36 percent of Americans approve of Obama's handling of the Syrian conflict, while 51 percent disapprove. Surveys on the Syrian conflict have found consistent opposition to U.S. military involvement there. But recent polls by The Huffington Post, the Pew Research Center and Washington Post/ABC News have found Americans largely support diplomatic efforts to get Syria to give up its stock of chemical weapons, even though few have confidence diplomacy will work...Secretary of State John Kerry fared little better than Obama, with only 35 percent saying they approved of his handling of Syria and 42 percent saying they disapproved." [HuffPost]

OBAMA'S DATA TEAM MAPS THE UNINSURED - Sarah Kliff: "Civis Analytics, a data analysis firm based in Chicago, was founded by alumni of the Obama campaign, who spent years figuring out how to find specific voters – and convince them to vote for Barack Obama. Now, some of their analysts have turned their number-crunching skills to Obamacare and created one of the most detailed maps of where the uninsured live. The idea was to give the people doing enrollment a better sense of where, exactly, to focus their efforts. Civis's map has an uninsured rate for each census tract, which usually includes about 1,000 or so people. This is a pretty granular level of detail: There are over 70,000 census tracts across the country, usually about the size of one neighborhood." [WaPost]

Civis posts full map - Via Twitter, Civis Analytics CEO Dan Wagner announces posting of "modeled uninsurance rates" to company website: "Check your state...Also, see Massachusetts uninsured vs. surrounding states, just wow." [Civis, @DanRWagner here and here]

2013-09-20-civisuninsured.png

HEARTLAND POLL FINDS ADULTS ANXIOUS, TEENS UPBEAT ON ECONOMY - Ron Brownstein: "In the latest Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll, an overwhelming majority of American adults say it was better to be either a child or a parent when they were young rather than now. Over two-thirds believe that when today's kids grow up, they will enjoy less financial security than adults today. And another two-thirds say today's children face more challenges than opportunities. On all of these questions, the anxiety crosses lines of gender, race, and class. Teenagers, responding to a separate survey, were noticeably more upbeat about their prospects— and even adults were more optimistic about kids in their families and neighborhoods than in the country overall. And Americans across racial and class differences delivered a generally favorable assessment of the opportunities available to children to receive a quality education, good health care, and equal treatment regardless of their race or gender." [Atlantic]

HUFFPOLLSTER VIA EMAIL! - You can receive this daily update every weekday via email! Just enter your email address in the box on the upper right corner of this page, and click "sign up." That's all there is to it (and you can unsubscribe anytime).

FRIDAY'S OUTLIERS' - Links to more news at the intersection of polling, politics and political data:

-Another poll confirms that Americans are confused about Obamacare. [ABC, WaPost]

-More than half of Americans think the media devotes too much coverage to mass shootings. [Rasmussen]

--44 percent of Americans think the federal government is doing a good jobs protecting right to keep and bear arms, down from 57 percent two years ago. [AP]

-Nate Cohn updates his PPP post with a familiar graphic.[@Nate_Cohn]

-Third Way says "illusions" drive the theory that demographics will lead to an enduring Democratic majority. [The Atlantic, Third Way report]

-NBC uses "Million Dollar Quiz" to grab personal data from 300,000 online players. [The Wrap]

-Among college students, notice of a celebrity endorsement does little to motivate turnout. [Kaye Usry & Michael Cobb via @AlexLundry]

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