Nancy Pelosi: America’s Most Disliked Politician

Nate Silver compares favorable/unfavorable numbers and concludes that the soon-to-be-former Speaker of the House is the most unpopular politician in America:

Favorability ratings can sometimes differ quite a bit from polling firm to polling firm — but Ms. Pelosi’s poor numbers in the Quinnipiac poll were no anomaly. A CNN poll last week put her scores at 33 percent favorable against 52 percent unfavorable, and found that about half of Democrats would rather she be replaced. A poll for ABC News and the Washington Post conducted just before the election had Ms. Pelosi’s numbers at 29 percent favorable and 58 percent unfavorable.

In fact, Ms. Pelosi is among the least popular politicians in America today — perhaps the single least popular one that maintains an active political role.


The average score for Ms. Pelosi was 30 percent favorable and 55 percent unfavorable, giving her a net favorability rating of negative-25. This was the worst score of any politician in the study by some margin. Others with substantially net negative scores included Dick Cheney (-17), Harry Reid (-16), Sarah Palin (-14), Newt Gingrich (-10) and George W. Bush (-9; his numbers have improved some), but Ms. Pelosi’s scores were somewhat worse over all.

It’s no wonder that Republicans are so pleased that House Democrats have once again made her the face of the party.

H/T: Andrew Sulivan

FILED UNDER: Congress, , , , , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. sam says:

    I’ve always found her low numbers puzzling. It’s not as if she is front and center on the news all the time; and when she is, she comes across as pretty likable. I can only attribute the low numbers to the fact that she’s — currently — Speaker of a Very Unpopular House of Representatives.

  2. reid says:

    If only these polls could dig deeper. As sam wonders, just what do they dislike about her? I bet most people have no idea, other than that she’s the leader of the House and featured prominently and negatively (and, I’d say, unfairly) in a lot of ads recently.

  3. wr says:

    Gosh, maybe I’m naive, but I suspect that if the Republican party spent $65 million in money from oil companies and the Koch Brothers and get hours of free airtime on Fox to spread the message that Doug M was the worst human being in the world, he’d have pretty poor poll numbers, too.

  4. An Interested Party says:

    Before any of the usual suspects are tempted to crow about this, they should note that Pelosi’s numbers are very similar to someone else on this list–that lady from Alaska…it’s no wonder that Democrats will be pleased if Republicans make her the face of the party…

  5. G.A.Phillips says: