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Solid Poll Numbers For Pelosi, Reid

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By Paul Kane and Jon Cohen
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, April 18, 2007

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) drew relatively high approval ratings as they passed their 100-day mark as leaders of their chambers, according to the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Pelosi had a job approval rating of 53 percent, according to the nationwide survey of 1,141 adults. That's about where she was in January just after becoming speaker.

Reid came away with 46 percent approving of his leadership of the Senate and 33 percent disapproving.

The poll was conducted last Thursday through Sunday and has a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.

There is one red flag in the survey: In January, 25 percent of respondents disapproved of Pelosi's job performance. That has increased to 35 percent.

After three months in office, Pelosi is a dramatically more popular figure than Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) was in late March 1995. Then, nearly three months into his tenure as speaker, Gingrich had pleased just 37 percent with his performance.

Reid lags far behind the Senate majority leader of that era, Robert J. Dole (R-Kan.). In March 1995, Dole's performance had the approval of 60 percent of adults, while 28 percent disapproved.

More broadly, 54 percent approve of how the Democrats in Congress are handling their job. The new majority has a higher approval rating now than the Republican majority had three months after it took over Capitol Hill in 1995, when 45 percent of Americans approved of the GOP's job performance.

But the public is somewhat critical of how much the new Democratic majority has accomplished after three months. Only 26 percent think the current Congress has accomplished "a great deal" or "a good amount." At this time in 1995, 33 percent thought the GOP-led Congress had accomplished that much.


© 2007 The Washington Post Company

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