PPP's new national poll finds that Republican voters have soured on Paul Ryan nationally. Overall only 30% of voters approve of the job Ryan is doing as Speaker of the House, to 48% who disapprove. What's most noteworthy though is that Ryan is under water even among Republicans, with 40% of them approving of the job he's doing to 44% who are unhappy. In November we found that 69% of Republicans supported Ryan becoming Speaker to only 14% were against it, but that honeymoon has worn off very quickly. The idea of Ryan being a white knight who could have unified the GOP and saved it from Trump is a beltway fantasy out of line with how actual Republican voters across the country feel about him at this point.
Ryan is at least still a lot better off than Mitch McConnell who has just an 11% approval rating nationally to 66% of voters who disapprove of him. What's remarkable in McConnell's numbers is how little deviation there is in them across party lines. He's at 14/64 with Republicans, 10/69 with Democrats, and just 6/66 with independents.
There's been a lot of discussion about the impact that Donald Trump's nomination might have on down ballot races. We find Democrats leading the generic Congressional ballot 46/41 right now. Trump's ascendancy is unlikely to cause Republicans to abandon their own party- we find 86% of Democrats planning to vote Democratic and 86% of Republicans planning to vote Republican. But Democrats do have an edge with independent voters at 38/32. We also asked specifically how voters would respond to a Senate candidate in their state supporting Trump. It's a 19 point net negative, with 45% of voters saying they'd be less likely to vote for a Senate hopeful who supported Trump to only 26% who say that would make them more likely to vote for someone. Among independents it's a 23 point net negative.
President Obama's approval rating stands at 49/48, the first time we've had him with a positive approval spread in a considerable amount of time. There continues to be a lot of misinformation about what has happened during Obama's time in office. 43% of voters think the unemployment rate has increased while Obama has been President, to only 49% who correctly recognize that it has decreased. And 32% of voters think the stock market has gone down during the Obama administration, to only 52% who correctly recognize that it has gone up. In both cases Democrats and independents are correct in their understanding of how things have changed since Obama became President, but Republicans claim by a 64/27 spread that unemployment has increased and by a 57/27 spread that the stock market has gone down.
We also tested a handful of issues: