Pelosi viewed more negatively than Boehner despite White House efforts

U.S. adults view House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) more negatively than House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), a poll found Wednesday.

A new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found that half of Americans had no opinion of the top House Republican or were unfamiliar with who he is, after a month of efforts by President Obama and other Democrats to elevate Boehner.

Fifty percent of American adults said they didn't know Boehner or were unsure of what they thought of him, in the new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released Wednesday. Of those who knew of Boehner, a net 14 percent had a favorable opinion, while 17 percent had a negative opinion of the GOP leader.

On the Democratic side of the ledger, Pelosi has an approval rating that skews negative.

While 22 percent of Americans said they had a positive impression of Pelosi, a net 50 percent had a negative opinion of the House's top Democrat.

The poll calls into question whether the White House's effort to cast Boehner as the chief opponent to the administration's agenda in the House has been successful.

"Americans are demanding that Congress work together to help create jobs and cut spending. That's where our focus should be," said Boehner's communications director, Kevin Smith. "For the sake of the country, hopefully this dawns on the White House at some point."

The poll also found that Americans were less familiar with the top Senate Republican, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), while having a more negative opinion about Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

Eighteen percent said they had an unfavorable opinion of McConnell, versus 12 percent who had a positive opinion. Reid has a 32 percent unfavorable rating in the poll, versus 12 percent who have a positive opinion.

The poll, conducted Sept. 22-25, has a 3.1 percent margin of error.

Updated 7:41 a.m.