Poll finds most Americans and most women don’t want Pelosi as Speaker

As Rep. Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiTrump finds himself isolated in shutdown fight Key Trump aide on willingness to shut down government over wall: ‘If it comes to it, absolutely’ Impatience, exuberance will define new Congress MORE (D-Calif.) continues her efforts to persuade Democrats to let her again become Speaker of House, a new poll finds Americans oppose the idea.

In an American Barometer survey conducted Nov. 24 and 25, 60 percent of registered voters said that the veteran legislator should not lead Democrats when they take control of the House in 2019. Forty percent said that Pelosi should become Speaker.

The American Barometer is a daily survey of 1,000 Americans conducted by HarrisX polling company on behalf of The Hill's new video division, Hill.TV.

Those numbers represent an improvement from an August American Barometer poll which found that 73 percent of voters wanted Democrats to pick “someone else” to lead them in the House.

Among respondents who identified as Democratic voters, 58 percent, agreed with the statement that Pelosi should become Speaker because she “is a strong leader who helped her party retake the House” while 42 percent agreed with the statement that she should not become Speaker because “her national profile is a liability for her party and it is time for new leaders.”

A majority of self-identified independent voters, 63 percent, said they saw Pelosi as a liability while just 37 percent said she was a strong leader who deserved to become Speaker. An even greater number of Republicans, 76 percent, said Pelosi should not become Speaker.

Notably, despite being the first woman to lead a party in Congress, a majority of female respondents, 57 percent, said they see Pelosi as a liability for Democrats. Only 43 percent said Pelosi is a strong leader who should become Speaker.

The 78-year-old San Franciscan has led Democrats in the House for 16 years through a combination of legislative savvy and a willingness to attack internal critics. Pelosi is using those skills to try and persuade holdouts, many of whom explicitly promised voters they would oppose her Speakership.

Republicans, including President TrumpDonald John TrumpFamily says Trump travel ban preventing mother from seeing dying son Saudi Arabia rejects Senate position on Khashoggi killing Five things to know about the Trump inauguration investigation MORE, have claimed that they want Pelosi to become Speaker again since she has been a fixture of GOP messaging for over a decade, in a way that former Sen. Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidManchin’s likely senior role on key energy panel rankles progressives Water wars won’t be won on a battlefield Poll finds most Americans and most women don’t want Pelosi as Speaker MORE (D-Nev.) and former President Obama once were. Trump has even offered several times to encourage Republican members to vote for Pelosi, saying that she ”deserves” to be Speaker.

”I can get Nancy Pelosi as many votes as she wants in order for her to be Speaker of the House,” the president wrote in a Nov. 17 Twitter posting.

A number of Democratic members have been negotiating with Pelosi in the hopes of securing more power or visibility in exchange for their votes, including members of the party's moderate and progressive wings.

On Monday, incoming progressive Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) indicated that she wanted a seat on the influential House Energy and Commerce Committee. Centrist Democratic members from the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus have promised to oppose Pelosi unless she agrees to a series of rule changes which they believe would lead to more bipartisan cooperation.

“If you’re going to come to an agreement with Pelosi, this is a good time to do it,” Rep. Brian HigginsBrian HigginsInsurgent Dems amplify push for term limits on party leaders Nancy Pelosi's incredible comeback WHIP LIST: Pelosi seeks path to 218 MORE (D-N.Y.), a former Pelosi opponent said to The Hill. “There are probably, as we speak, multiple discussions going on with Nancy Pelosi and her senior staff and members, letter signers and those who expressed opposition to find out if there’s any room.”

No other Democratic member has stepped forward as a candidate for Speaker ahead of a Wednesday caucus election where Pelosi is expected to win a majority of votes. She must still earn a majority in the full House in January, however.

Assuming no Republicans vote for Pelosi, she must receive 218 Democratic votes to succeed. As of this writing, she has not received a sufficient number of endorsements, even as several former opponents have indicated they would support her.

”There’s a lot of polarization about Pelosi, not surprisingly. There is some Democratic discontent with her overall, but not enough to keep her from being Speaker,” said Karlyn Bowman, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, said on Tuesday’s broadcast of “What America’s Thinking.”

—Matthew Sheffield