-Kevin McCarthy has made a horrible first impression on the American public to the extent he has made an impression at all. 50% of voters say they have no opinion about him one way or the other, but among those who do have one only 12% see him favorably to 38% who have a negative opinion. That unpopularity cuts across party lines- he’s at 14/33 with Republicans, 12/36 with independents, and 11/43 with Democrats.
Of course legislative leaders being unpopular is just par for the course. The departing John Boehner has a 21/64 approval rating and that actually makes him popular compared to Mitch McConnell who comes in at 14/64. McConnell’s become so toxic to the Republican base that he’s actually a little bit more popular with Democrats (17/59) than he is among voters in how own party (14/67).
One thing Congressional Republicans haven’t helped themselves with recently is their war on Planned Parenthood. By a 12 point margin, 49/37, voters say they have a higher opinion of Planned Parenthood than the Republicans in Congress. That includes a 45/35 edge with independents.
Congress on the whole has its requisite atrocious approval rating at 11/82. Despite the Republican control though that doesn’t have the electorate positioned to vote for massive change- the generic Congressional ballot splits evenly with each party getting 43%.
-Pope Francis wrapped up his American tour with a 63/16 favorability rating. Last week’s Kim Davis drama doesn’t seem to have hurt him any with Democrats, as he gets a 75/8 rating from them. He is mostly popular with independents (60/21) and Republicans (49/23) as well.
Kim Davis, on the other hand, is not popular with just about anyone. Only 14% of voters nationally have a positive opinion of her to 35% with a negative one. It’s not surprising that she’s at 11/46 with Democrats, but even among Republicans she is not well liked with 16% rating her favorably to 23% with a negative view.
The limited tolerance for Davis may speak to the country’s belief that gay marriage just hasn’t proven to be a big deal. Only 26% of voters nationally claim that its being legal has had a negative impact on their lives, compared to 74% who say it’s either had a positive impact or none at all. Even among Republican voters, 57% say gay marriage being legal hasn’t negatively affected them.
-There continues to be an overwhelming bipartisan mandate from voters for background checks on all gun purchases. Overall 88% of voters support them to only 8% who are opposed. That includes 93/4 support from Democrats, 84/11 support from Republicans, and 83/11 support from independents.
-Citizens United continues to be incredibly unpopular with the American public. Only 19% of voters support the decision to 57% who are opposed to it, and that opposition cuts across party lines with Republicans (24/46), Democrats (18/62), and especially independents (13/63) in opposition. Voters say by a 33 point margin that they would be less likely to vote for a Senate candidate who supported the Supreme Court’s decision in the case- only 10% say that would make them more likely to back a candidate with that position to 43% who would be less likely to.
-Evidence continues to mount that the Affordable Care Act is just not a liability for Democrats anymore. Nationally we find that 42% of voters support it to 40% who are opposed. Those numbers are in line with what we’ve found in most swing states where we’ve polled on it over the course of this year. It’s a far cry from when we used to consistently find voters opposed to it by a 10-15 point margin nationally and in key states. One big reason for the change is that Democrats (73%) are more unified in their support of it than Republicans (70%) are in their opposition to it. There isn’t the sort of pro GOP intensity gap on the issue that there used to be.
-Pretty much no one thinks Iowa and New Hampshire should get the first shot at the Presidential race every time. Just 15% of voters support letting them keep their first in the nation status, to 60% who are opposed to that. The numbers across party lines are almost identical- Republicans (17/61), Democrats (14/62), and independents (14/54) all disagree with those states’ special status.
-The finding of water on Mars last week reinforces to some extent the divide that exists between Democrats and Republicans when it comes to trusting science. Democrats believe by a 53/15 margin that there is liquid water on Mars, while GOP voters believe so by only a 36/20 spread. Overall 43% of Americans believe there’s water on Mars to 17% who don’t think so and 40% who aren’t sure one way or another.
-74% of voters nationally support increasing the minimum wage to at least $10 an hour with only 15% thinking the minimum wage is fine where it is currently and 9% in favor of eliminating the minimum wage altogether. 93% of Democrats, 70% of independents, and 53% of Republicans support an increase to at least $10.
-We continue to find strong support nationally for the EPA’s Clean Power Plan- 62% of voters are in favor of it to only 31% who are opposed.
-Finally we polled on some sports issues. We asked who people wanted to in the World Series but the numbers are already a little out of date with the Yankees’ elimination last night, and the Astros weren’t included in the poll because it was unclear who would get the other American League wild card spot when the poll went into the field. At any rate 15% of Americans are rooting for the Cubs to 11% who were rooting for the Yankees, 8% for the Dodgers, 7% for the Pirates, 6% each for the Royals and Cardinals, 5% for the Mets, 4% for the Rangers, and 3% for the Blue Jays. There was a partisan divide on the numbers with Democrats rooting for the Cubs over the Yankees 16/11, but Republicans rooting for the Yankees over the Cubs 13/11.
-Serena Williams is broadly popular with the American public, with 55% of voters saying they have a positive opinion of her to 14% with a negative one. There’s a large partisan divide in her popularity with Democrats giving her a positive 70/8 rating, while Republicans come in at just 39/20.
-Finally America is divided on the great Aaron Rodgers/Tom Brady debate. 34% think Rodgers is better, 32% think Brady is better, and 34% just don’t know.
Full results here