The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Opposing Trump is making Nancy Pelosi more popular

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) pauses at the entrance to her office on Friday to address members of the media on the partial shutdown of the federal government. (EPA-EFE)

The shutdown has begun to take its toll on President Trump’s poll numbers. The president’s approval rating in Rasmussen’s Daily Tracking Poll fell to its lowest level in nearly a year on Monday.

Nate Silver also noted the shutdown’s adverse effects on Trump’s approval rating. As he tweeted this past weekend:

Yet while Trump’s numbers are falling, Nancy Pelosi’s are rising. The first graph below shows that Pelosi’s favorability rating has increased by eight percentage points since Election Day in Civiqs’s tracking polls.

The next display shows a similar surge in Nancy Pelosi’s Gallup rating. Pelosi is now more popular in Gallup polls than she has been in a decade.

To be sure, Pelosi is still quite unpopular. And some of her increased support may simply stem from the usual honeymoon period, whereby House speakers are most popular at the beginning of their terms.

But she is also surely benefiting from her visible opposition to an unpopular president. In prior posts on this site, we’ve shown that Trump’s record unpopularity helped make Barack Obama and Muslims more popular during the 2016 campaign while eroding support for his signature border wall.

Those trends have continued since the election. Trump’s opposition to immigration and Islam has increasingly made the country in general, and Democrats in particular, more supportive of immigrants and Muslims.

Democrats are similarly driving Pelosi’s rising poll numbers. Pelosi’s favorability rating is up 13 percentage points among Democrats since the midterms (59 percent to 72 percent) in Civiqs’s polls and unchanged among Republicans (2 percent to 3 percent). It appears, then, that Pelosi’s opposition to the president has rallied her party’s base and increased her favorability ratings.

Pelosi’s growing popularity, combined with both Trump’s declining approval rating and a series of recent polls showing Americans blame the president more than congressional Democrats for the shutdown, suggests that there is little incentive for Democrats to compromise with the White House to reopen the government.

Read more:

What will it take to end the shutdown? Watch these three things. 

No, Trump’s base did not elect him to withdraw troops from Syria and Afghanistan