A new poll showing that Americans see major political figures more unfavorably than favorably had two very notable exceptions — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott.
DeSantis, who is facing re-election this year and is among those often mentioned as a possible 2024 presidential candidate, has a 6% positive net favorability rating, according to the latest Harvard CAPS / Harris poll.
The poll found that 34% of those polled had a favorable opinion of DeSantis, who has carved a niche for himself as a strong voice opposing the Biden administration on parental rights, COVID-19 policy and immigration. Only 28% of those polled gave DeSantis an unfavorable rating.
“Gov. Ron DeSantis is a rare politician in America right now with more voters who like him than dislike him and he is gaining strength in the Republican primary, positioning him to win if Trump does not run and possibly taking him on if he does run,” said Mark Penn, the co-director of the Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll, according to The Hill.
The poll listed 17 American political figures. Of them, only DeSantis and Scott had net favorable opinions, with Scott showing a 3-point margin.
The poll showed those responding were more-or-less fed up with most big-name political figures. Former President Donald Trump, who had the highest raw favorability rating at 42%, had a 50% unfavorable rating, putting him 8 points in the red.
President Joe Biden fared even worse, with 38% favorable and 54% unfavorable, for a balance of negative 16 percentage points. Vice President Kamala Harris was in the negative numbers by 13 points, tied with Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.
Former first lady and failed Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s negatives outweighed her positives by 19 points.
Major congressional figures also fared badly, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with a whopping 27-point negative rating, the worst of the American political figures surveyed. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer had a net unfavorability score of 13, while Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell had a 22-point negative rating.
Penn called the findings “bad news for the incumbents and good news for challengers seeking to tap into American discontent,” according to a news release. “‘Wrong track metrics’ about the direction of the country and the economy are the worst they have ever been in our poll.”
The poll showed 74% of respondents saying the nation was on the wrong track and only 24% saying it was on the right track.
Similar sentiments were voiced on the economy, with 71% saying it was on the wrong track and 21% saying it was on the right track; similar to the 72% who say the economy is weak and the 28% who think it is strong.
The poll found that 71% of those surveyed did not want Biden to run in 2024. Of that group, 45% said he has not been a good president and 30% said he was too old.
The poll also found that only 40% of those responding said Biden was mentally fit to be president.
“President Biden may want to run again but the voters say ‘no’ to the idea of a second term, panning the job he is doing as president. Only 30% of Democrats would even vote for him in a Democratic presidential primary,” Penn said, according to The Hill.
Although the poll showed DeSantis with a net positive favorability, the poll found Trump was still the top choice of Republicans in a prospective 2024 presidential primary 56%, while DeSantis placed second at 16%. With Trump removed, DeSantis topped the list of names at 36% with former Vice President Mike Pence at 17%.
As noted by The Hill, the survey is an online sample drawn from the Harris Panel and weighted to reflect known demographics. As a representative online sample, it does not report a probability confidence interval.
CORRECTION, July 15, 2022: The Western Journal failed to abide by our editorial standards by leaving out important information regarding this poll when this article was originally published, namely, that the survey of 1,308 registered voters was conducted on June 28 and 29, 2022, “within the United States.”
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