Polling Shows Nancy Pelosi 'Toxic' in Districts Democrats Hoping to Flip

Internal polls direct Republicans to keep bashing Pelosi in 2018

Nancy Pelosi / Getty Images
Nancy Pelosi / Getty Images
June 27, 2017

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) is overwhelmingly unpopular in many of the districts that Democrats are hoping to flip in 2018, according to internal polling data released by a top Republican super PAC.

The newly released data from the Congressional Leadership Fund justifies its strategy for special elections in both Montana and Georgia, where the Democratic candidates were bombarded with ads tying them to Pelosi.

In Montana, where Rob Quist was called "Pelosi in a cowboy hat," the minority leader had a 59 percent unfavorable rating, and in Georgia, where Jon Ossoff was labeled "San Francisco's congressman," she had a 56 percent unfavorable rating, according to the CLF poll.

Polling found that Pelosi is similarly "toxic" in nine additional districts that were included in the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's list of 2018 targets released earlier this year.

In Nebraska's Second Congressional District—a seat that was flipped by Republicans in 2016 that Democrats hope to win back next year—Pelosi is viewed unfavorably by 60 percent and favorably by just 30 percent.

In four California congressional districts targeted by the DCCC and polled by CLF, Pelosi's favorability topped out at 34 percent in California's 10th Congressional District, where she is viewed unfavorably by 52 percent.

The poll found similar gaps in targeted districts in Florida, Iowa, Minnesota, and New York.

CLF executive director Corry Bliss said the group's polling, conducted over the past 60 days, found that the issues concerning voters varied from district to district, but Pelosi was found to be a "common denominator."

"While results pointed to different sets of key issues from one district to the next, we did find a common denominator: Nancy Pelosi," Bliss said. "Across the country, voters strongly disapprove of Nancy Pelosi's policies and the Democratic brand of extremist protests and out-of-touch liberal elitism."

The group says that it will direct its spending in 2018 towards highlighting Pelosi's "toxic agenda" in districts that Democrats are hoping to flip.

Numerous members of the Democratic caucus have questioned this week whether the party made the right decision when it elected to stick with Pelosi after last November's election.

Pelosi has responded to the internal critics by saying that she is "worth the trouble."