This War Was Lost
By Joel Gerhke
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., is the most unpopular of the top four Democratic and Republican leaders in Congress, according to a Gallup poll that suggests the American people might support them more if they got along better.
Just 33 percent of voters approve of Reid's performance, compared with 53 percent of Gallup survey respondents who disapprove, which amounts to a net approval rating of -20. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, fares only slightly better; his 37/54 percent favorable/unfavorable numbers give him a net rating of -17.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., both have a net approval rating of -12. McConnell's approval rating (35 percent) is lower than Pelosi's (39 percent), but Pelosi's disapproval rating (51 percent) comes in higher than McConnell's (47 percent).
'My staff tells me not to say this, but I'm going to say it anyway. In the summer because of the heat and high humidity, you could literally smell the tourists (my employers) coming into the Capitol. It may be descriptive but it's true.'
- Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid, 8 December 2009
Gallup reported Monday that, heading into a congressional debate about defunding Obamacare or shutting down the government, 53 percent of Americans polled support compromise, compared to 25 percent who say its "more important [for legislators] to stick to their principles."
"At a time when disagreements and inability to reach consensus in Congress pose the threat of a federal government shutdown, Americans express an increasingly strong preference for their political leaders in Washington to compromise, rather than stick to their principles at the cost of getting nothing done," Gallup said.
"Notably, Americans who identify as Tea Party supporters are about as likely to favor compromise as sticking to core beliefs," Gallup also found, noting that 39 percent of Tea Party respondents support compromise, while 40 percent oppose it. Twenty-two percent fall somewhere in between.
Reid made a strident statement in opposition to a Republican push to use the continuing resolution to defund the president's health care law.
“We're not going to bow to tea party anarchists who deny the mere fact that Obamacare is the law. We will not bow to tea party anarchists who refuse to accept that the Supreme Court ruled that Obamacare is constitutional,” Reid said on the Senate floor, according to Politico. “The simple fact remains: Obamacare is the law of the land and will remain the law of the land as long as Barack Obama is president of the United States and as long as I'm Senate majority leader."