Ryan Off To Good Start As Speaker; McConnell Still Down in Dumps

| Tom Jensen

PPP’s new national poll finds pretty good numbers for Paul Ryan as he begins his Speakership. 41% of voters nationally have a positive opinion of him to 35% with a negative one. That actually gives him a better net favorability rating than anyone running for President has. And 49% of voters say they support his becoming Speaker to only 27% opposed to his ascendance. There was discussion about whether the Republican base would accept Ryan becoming Speaker, but he has a 62/15 favorability rating with GOP voters and by a 69/14 spread they favor his new position. Even among Democrats voters are pretty divided (35/36) on Ryan’s becoming Speaker. There may be a mass of Democratic voters who think it could have been a lot worse in terms of who took over for the Republicans.

While Ryan’s off to a good start, Mitch McConnell remains exceedingly unpopular. Only 15% of voters approve of the job he’s doing to 59% who disapprove. GOP voters are so down on him (15/62 approval), that McConnell actually fares slightly better with Democratic voters (18/53 approval). McConnell’s approval rating tracks pretty closely with that of Congress as a whole- only 12% of voters approve of the job it’s doing to 76% who disapprove.

Despite the unhappiness with Congress and the Republicans being in control, voters aren’t planning to take out their unhappiness on the GOP next year. Republicans lead the generic Congressional ballot 45/43, including a 43/32 advantage with independent voters. 

86% of Americans support background checks on all gun purchases, compared to only 8% opposed to them. There’s overwhelming bipartisan support in favor of them, with over 80% of Democrats (93/4), Republicans (82/13), and independents (81/10) all in support.

73% of Americans support increasing the minimum wage to at least $10 an hour, with only 13% in favor of keeping it where it is and 11% wanting to eliminate it altogether. 58% of Republicans support an increase to at least $10 to only 23% who think it should be left where it is, a sign that the GOP Presidential candidates are out of line with the party base when it comes to this issue. Among Democrats 62% favor going up to at least a $12 an hour minimum wage, but only 36% favor going all the way to $15 an hour. Those numbers indicate the position Hillary Clinton took in the debate last weekend actually is the majority position within the party.

62% of Americans support the EPA’s Clean Power Plan to only 30% who are opposed to it. We’ve consistently found strong support for this everywhere that we poll it. Democrats (84/7) are overwhelmingly in favor of it while Republicans (42/53) are much more evenly divided in their opinions. Independents (57/36) aren’t too far off from the overall numbers in terms of their support.

Finally we continue to find Americans saying that gay marriage being legal in the country just hasn’t proven to be that big of a deal. 72% say either that its legalization has had a positive impact on their lives or that it hasn’t had any impact at all, with only 28% claiming that it’s had a negative impact. Even most Republican voters (54%) grant that it hasn’t been that bad.

Full results here

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