Speakers are 'lightning rods' for opposition, says public opinion analyst

Public opinion analyst Karlyn Bowman said in an interview that aired Tuesday on "What America's Thinking" that House Speakers are normally a top target for the opposition. 

"Speakers are lightning rods. We've seen this ever since [former Speaker] Newt Gingrich [R-Ga.]," Bowman, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, told Hill.TV's Joe Concha. 

"All of the forces of opposition just go to them, and that's what we see with Ryan and Pelosi. Neither of them are highly regarded," she continued. 

House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiSchumer calls on Trump to testify as part of impeachment inquiry Sunday shows — Spotlight shifts to Sondland ahead of impeachment inquiry testimony Perception won't be reality, once AI can manipulate what we see MORE (D-Calif.), who is vying for a second stint as Speaker, has an average approval rating of 28.5 percent, according to Real Clear Politics.

Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis Ryan Retirees should say 'no thanks' to Romney's Social Security plan California Governor Newsom and family dress as 2020 Democrats for Halloween DC's liaison to rock 'n' roll MORE (R-Wis.) has an approval rating of 29.3, according to the website. 

Bowman's comments come as Pelosi works to win over House Democrats ahead of their vote on Wednesday for House Speaker before they take the majority in January.

Pelosi has faced a series of obstacles in her bid for the Speakership, including over a dozen Democrats signaling in a letter that they will not support her.

However, some of her critics, including Rep. Marcia FudgeMarcia Louise FudgeHillicon Valley: Zuckerberg to testify on Libra | Extremists find home on Telegram app | Warren blasts Facebook for not removing anti-Biden ad | California outlaws facial recognition in police body cameras | China rips US tech sanctions House Democrats introduce new legislation to combat foreign election interference Harris wins endorsement of former CBC Chairwoman Marcia Fudge MORE (D-Ohio) who floated challenging Pelosi, have since walked back their criticisms and backed the longtime Democratic leader.

— Julia Manchester