Donald Trump likes to make fun of Minority House leader Nancy Pelosi, but an internal poll conducted by the Republican National Committee shows her beating the president when the midterms are framed as a battle between the two leaders.
A poll conducted for the GOP by Public Opinion Strategies, the results of which were obtained by Bloomberg, shows the Democratic leader is more popular than Trump among voters. Respondents were asked who they would choose “when the November election is framed by Trump and Pelosi,” to which voters responded by saying that they would prefer Pelosi-aligned candidates over Trump-aligned candidates by five points, 50 percent to 45 percent. Among independents, that difference stands at four percent.
For years, Republicans have projected Pelosi as a symbol of weak, coastal liberalism — something that has helped them garner gains in the last two midterms in 2010 and 2014. Trump has enjoyed carrying on the torch for the Republicans, often taking digs at the House Minority leader by claiming how ineffectual she is.
For example, he attacked Pelosi last month in a sarcastic tweet, also berating Democrats for continuing to give her chances despite her “bad” performances.
“Democrats, please do not distance yourselves from Nancy Pelosi. She is a wonderful person whose ideas & policies may be bad, but who should definitely be given a 4th chance. She is trying very hard & has every right to take down the Democrat Party if she has veered too far left!”
Pelosi more popular than Trump according to Republican poll https://t.co/qQv7iHJgrs— MarketWatch (@MarketWatch) September 21, 2018
On her part, Pelosi has been a vehement critic of Trump as well and has especially taken him to task for his relationship with Putin.
“Every single day, I find myself asking: what do the Russians have on Donald Trump personally, financially, & politically,” she mused back in July.
“The answer to that question is that only thing that explains his behavior & his refusal to stand up to Putin.”
Earlier this month in an interview with CNN, Pelosi said that she would have retired from politics had Hillary Clinton won, but now that Trump was in office, it was important for her to stay till the Democrats oust Trump. She reaffirmed her faith in the new batch of Democratic candidates, saying women were leading the way in the Democratic Party for the upcoming elections.
“If the election were held today, we would win overwhelmingly and women would lead the way,” she had said.
“We have so many excellent women candidates from women across the country. Women marched and then they ran, and now they’re running and now they’re going to be members of Congress.”
With Democrats making advances in the midterm polls, Republicans are keen to strategize ways to frame the elections in a way that suits them. Mocking Pelosi has been a tried-and-tested method which has worked for GOP before, something which was validated in the poll as well. The poll showed that criticizing Clinton and Pelosi “help[s] coalesce the GOP base and win over key constituencies.”
Despite Pelosi being more popular than Trump, the poll concludes that Republicans should continue to criticize Pelosi because that would likely strike a chord among Republican voters.