Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.
Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Poll: The Most Popular Politician In Congress Is…John McCain?

John McCainSenator John McCain (R-AZ) is one of few Republicans to emerge from the government shutdown unscathed, according to a CNN/ORC poll.

The poll, released on Monday, finds that among the legislators included in the poll – House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) – Senator McCain is viewed the most favorably, by 48 percent of Americans.

His fellow Republicans do not fare as well.

Speaker Boehner — who backed Cruz’s efforts to defund Obamacare and shut down the government — is the least popular of the group, with 55 percent saying they have an unfavorable view of him, and only 27 saying they have a favorable view. McConnell and Cruz are viewed unfavorably by 42 percent, while 23 percent hold the opposite view.

McCain is also more popular than the Democrats included in the poll. Senator Reid is viewed negatively, 30 percent to 40 percent, as is Rep. Pelosi, 37 percent to 47 percent.

Senator McCain’s popularity could stem from his very outspoken criticism of the Tea Party-led effort to defund the Affordable Care Act and the government shutdown, which he called “unnecessary” and nothing more than “shenanigans.”

Ironically, despite his overall popularity, McCain is a pariah to much of his own party. Cruz — whom McCain calls a “wacko bird” — has condemned the Arizona senator for not supporting House conservatives. Tea Partiers like Cruz argue that Americans support the far-right’s efforts, and claim if Senate Republicans stopped “attacking House conservatives,” the Tea Party would never lose.

On the contrary. Americans appear to respect McCain’s call for reason — while Cruz and the Tea Party bring the Republican Party down with them.

A majority of Americans surveyed – 56 percent – now have an unfavorable view of the far-right faction of the GOP. And the strong disapproval of the Tea Party is spilling over to the entire Republican Party, with the poll finding an overwhelming 64 percent of Americans saying they have an unfavorable view of the GOP, and 54 percent deeming the GOP-controlled House “bad for the country.”

This latest poll is just one of many released since the government shutdown to show that the GOP is already suffering the consequences of the shutdown, as McCain warned his Tea Party opponents months ago.

The poll was conducted from October 18-20 and surveyed 841 American adults. The poll has a +/- 3.5 percent margin of error.

Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2013 The National Memo
  • John Pigg

    It’s no mistake that on the issue of taxes the American people will consistently vote those who are willing to compromise and advocate good governance.

    It’s too bad McCain’s foreign policy opinions are so bellicose.

    If you want a Republican that offers a non-interventionist foreign policy then be prepared to rub shoulders with those that think taxes and government are outrageous. If you want someone who will meet in the middle on taxes, be prepared to never question military spending or military adventurism.

  • Dominick Vila

    John McCain’s stature as a statesman willing to seek middle ground rose by orders of magnitude when he decided to challenge the obtuse tactics employed by Ted Cruz and his cohorts. Unfortunately, McCain’s pragmatism on domestic issues contrasts with his slash and burn opinions on foreign policy matters.
    Let’s not forget that his pragmatism on the need to solve the government shutdown and stop threatening default resonates at a national level. However, his position on this issue may have impacted his re-election chances in Arizona…if he decides to run for re-election instead of taking another crack at the presidency.

  • disqus_ivSI3ByGmh

    I am amazed that Nancy Pelosi polled as high as she did for popularity. Unfortunately, SHE is one of the major problems with our party.

    • hilandar1000

      How so? I do understand that there was some question of her using advance knowledge of upcoming legislation to her financial advantage, but I think all politicians have to resort to some of that kind of thing in order to win campaigns. Otherwise they would be out of office and we would be dealing with a totally Republican regime. That will not change until we start making campaign finance a top priority. The fact is that Pelosi has fought harder and voted for legislation that is of most benefit to the middle class and poor of our country.
      She has been unflinching on that. If you compare her congressional leadership abilities to those of any of her counterparts in the GOP, it’s easy to see why she is where she is and will probably remain there for some time.

    • mikem42

      Nancy Pelosi was the one who delivered the votes, every Democrat in her caucus, to allow the bill to pass opening the government and avoiding the fiscal cliff of default. She is disliked maybe because she is female, and yet tough. We need more Dems to step up and deliver as she has done. And, we do need a Democratic majority in Congress to move the country forward.

  • idamag

    At least John McCain is sane. He did make a big mistake when he selected the nitwit from Alaska as a running mate.

    • plc97477

      Not a mistake. Best thing he ever did for the dems.

  • howa4x

    John McCain has always been a hawk and a neo con so this is a respite from that title. Maybe the national GOP will take a cue from him and try to moderate the brand. His popularity comes from standing up to the right wing and that is the lesson that GOP moderates need to learn. The problem with the republicans is that they are going off in many more directions than the democrats. The evangelicals are trying to set the social agenda, while the tea party is fixated on the deficit, Obamacare and guns. Libertarians are trying to push a Randian agenda aimed at social security and Medicare, and the moderates are trying to read the pulse of the country and tack back toward the center. The GOP has become a many headed hydra going in 4 directions at once. This is what plagued the democrats post Viet Nam, until Clinton became the center that all sides could gravitate to. McCain lost that position by having a tea party queen as a running mate and trying to drag us into every conflict on the planet. The GOP needs that person to emerge and created enough gravity that all far flung sides will adhere to. Christie could have been that person but he is busy trying to get as far right as possible to have a chance at wining a primary contest with the base. I think both the tea party and the evangelicals need to wear out their welcome, or the GOP will wander the desert for a while.

    • Mark Forsyth

      No manna for those bastards!

  • New Breeding Program Aimed At Keeping Moderate Republicans From Going Extinct

    WASHINGTON—Saying the now critically endangered species of politician is at high risk for complete extinction within the next 10 years, Beltway-area conservationists announced plans Monday for a new captive breeding program designed to save moderate Republicans.

    According to members of the Initiative to Protect the Political Middle (IPPM), centrist Republicans, who once freely roamed the nation calling for both economic deregulation and a return to Reagan-era tax rates on the wealthy, are in dire need of protection, having lost large portions of their natural terrain to the highly territorial Evangelical and Tea Party breeds.

    “Our new program is designed to isolate the few remaining specimens of moderate Republicans, mate them in captivity, and then safely release these rare and precious creatures back into the electorate,” said IPPM’s Cynthia Rollins, who traces the decline of the species to changes in the political climate and rampant, predatory fanaticism. “Within our safe, enclosed habitats, these middle-of-the-road Republican Party members can freely support increased funding for public education and even gay rights without being threatened by the far-right subgenus.”

    A mated pair of centrist GOP politicians in captivity.

    Working within a narrow three-election-cycle window to reverse the decline before extinction becomes imminent, political conservationists told reporters they have already begun the arduous process of tracking down members of the elusive breed of sensible, non-reactionary public officeholders, which a generation ago was one of the most plentiful GOP species in existence.

    IPPM officials also said that while there is no guarantee they will ever be able to restore the moderate-Republican population to its once-teeming levels, “every effort must be made” to forcibly breed the species and at least keep it alive in the Midwest and Northeast, where its chances for survival remain highest.

    “Last week we shot Gov. Mitch Daniels with a tranquilizer dart from a blind we’d set up near the Indiana Capitol, and we plan on mating him very soon with a senator we trapped up in Maine,” said IPPM reproductive expert Gabriel Burke, adding that forced breeding of centrist Republicans in captivity is a humane, carefully regulated procedure designed to simulate mating in the wild. “While captive specimens tend to be wary around each other at first, once they sense they’re both opponents of labor unions yet also willing to make tough compromises on collective bargaining rights, the sexual ritual begins almost instantly.”

    Added Burke, “In fact, one of our specimens, Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts, has already been mated with five or six other regional lawmakers in the past week alone.”

    Though hopes for the captive breeding program remain high, many leading political conservationists note the number of optimal habitats for moderate, freethinking Republicans across the country has shrunk drastically, with studies showing the species may never again be able to recover in areas where it has been totally eradicated, such as the South and the GOP caucus in the House of Representatives.

    As they continue to search for nonextremist conservatives with the vaguest ability to compromise on social issues like abortion in cases of rape and incest, IPPM officials acknowledged they may be fighting a race against time.

    “The most difficult task we have is preserving members of this disappearing breed before the desperate need for votes forces them to begin parroting borderline racist anti-immigration ideologies and accusing their opponents of being socialists,” tracker Phil Gandelman said. “We thought we had captured and tagged a truly exemplary specimen a few weeks ago, but when we studied the creature more closely, we realized it was just John McCain.”

    “The poor little guy was so far gone we had to put him out of his misery,” Gandelman added.

    Representatives for the IPPM said they hope their current effort will prove more successful than past attempt to propagate moderates by crossbreeding highly liberal and extreme conservative politicians, which ended in tragedy when Vermont senator Bernie Sanders was physically mauled and torn apart by Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS).

  • Mark Forsyth

    McCains Shut-Down common sense not withstanding,he is still a republican.The party that allowed itself to be cowed by t bag radicals.As such he is merely a somewhat less rotten entity in a barrel of bad apples.