Reid’s Approval Ratings (Even) Lower than Cheney’s

Yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said of Vice President Dick Cheney, “I’m not going to get into a name-calling match with somebody who has a 9 percent approval rating.” It’s a great line, which earned Quote of the Day honors from a href=”http://politicalwire.com/archives/2007/04/25/quote_of_the_day.html” title=”Quote of the Day”>Taegan Goddard and an “Oh, Snap!” from Ezra Klein.

Unfortunately, a new Harris Interactive survey (WSJ [$]) finds that Reid’s ratings are even lower than Cheney’s!

 

Excellent

Pretty

Good

Only

Fair

Poor

Not

Sure

Positive*

Negative**

 

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice

12

33

29

21

6

45

50

President George W. Bush

7

22

22

48

2

28

70

Democrats in Congress

5

29

34

24

7

35

58

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

5

25

33

23

14

30

56

Vice President Dick Cheney

5

20

25

44

7

25

68

Defense Secretary Robert Gates

4

25

36

19

16

29

55

Congress

3

24

43

27

4

27

69

Republicans in Congress

3

20

41

33

4

22

74

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid

2

19

35

17

26

22

52

Cheney 250 percent more people rating him “Excellent” than Reid (a paltry 5% vice 2%), and a slight advantage in “Pretty Good” ratings, too. His composite “positive” rating is 25 percent to Reid’s 22. Both are horrible, frankly, but Cheney’s is technically higher (albeit within the margin of error).

Perhaps Reid should have said “… a 68 percent negative rating.” There, he would have been on safe ground, since only 52 percent view him negatively. Then again, 26 percent have no idea who he is, compared to only 7 percent for Cheney.

via Republican congressional communications staff

UPDATE: To be clear, this is a WSJ/Harris Interactive poll, not an internal GOP poll. I merely added the source credit to indicate that the Republican communications team is pushing the results, which is useful information.

Yep, it’s an online poll, albeit a fairly sophisticated one. The numbers for Bush and Congress track others I’ve seen recently, though, so there’s no reason to think the numbers for Reid et al are off. Usually, lesser figures aren’t included in these polls, so I don’t have readily available comparables.

Here are the latest snapshots from RealClear Politics on presidential and congressional approval:

RealClear Politics Presidential and Congressional Approval Ratings (April 2007)

It looks like the Harris numbers are lowish across the board, although perhaps that’s a function of making “Only Fair” part of the negative ratings as much as it is about the sample.

UPDATE: While we’re on the subject of partisan spinning of poll numbers, both Charles Franklin and Mark Blumenthal note that Reid is not the only Democrat to wildly understate Cheney’s approval ratings. Neither have corresponding numbers for Reid.

PollingReport.com does have numbers for Reid and Cheney. The Reid numbers vary WILDLY, ranging from 5 percent approval in a January CBS poll to 46 percent in an April ABC/WaPo survey. The recent polls all put Cheney in the mid-30s. The numbers are directly comparable, though, because Reid is so much less known than the VP.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Hal says:

    I guess it depends on what poll you use. Maybe the last week has dropped that to nothing, but I kind of doubt it.

    Still, keep passing along the R’s press releases. Gotta love their talking points.

  2. Triumph says:

    via Republican congressional communications staff

    Did the RCC tell you that this was a poll of ONLINE users? The methodology is not clearly articulated, but I would question how much this reflects actual public opinion.

  3. Triumph says:

    Yep, it’s an online poll, albeit a fairly sophisticated one.

    Do you have further info than what was published on WSJ.com?

    This Harris Poll was conducted online among 1,001 adults April 20-23. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online. In theory, with a sample of this size, one can say with a 95% probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/-3 percentage points.

  4. Andy says:

    Well, that’s a shockingly stupid way to read the polling on Reid and Cheney.

  5. Tano says:

    Yes, lets be explicit about this James.

    A “normal” poll, using standard methods, such as the ABC/WaPo poll, found Reid with a 46% approval rating, in a poll conducted from April 12-15.

    The 5% approval that you referenced was from a poll in January, before he took over as majority leader and in which 70% claimed to have never heard of Harry Reid, and a further 16% were undecided. To present that as if the 5% was indicative of massive disapproval is pretty damn misleading.

  6. William d'Inger says:

    I don’t know why you continue to waste space on meaningless polls. The only poll that matters is the poll of the voters on election day. Any approval rating poll during a term in office is about as useful as a single sheet of what’s-her-name’s toilet paper.

  7. Mark F. says:

    I don’t believe Harry Reid’s comment was intended to be accurate. I believe it was intended to be disrespectful. It was sort of a polite way of saying, “Go f*ck yourself, DICK.”