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 Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiHillicon Valley: Social media faces scrutiny after New Zealand attacks | YouTube removed 'tens of thousands' of shooting videos | DHS chief warns of state-backed cyber threats | House Dems plan April vote on net neutrality Republican senators who voted against Trump have no excuses Manchin says he won't support LGBTQ protection bill as written 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 RyanBottom Line Paul Ryan says Trump will win reelection because of 'record of accomplishment' Pence loses House office space 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 FudgeCongressional Black Caucus faces tough decision on Harris, Booker Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee to step down as CBC Foundation chair amid lawsuit Reporter says to expect Capitol Hill to take action on North Carolina's 9th District MORE (D-Ohio) who floated challenging Pelosi, have since walked back their criticisms and backed the longtime Democratic leader.

— Julia Manchester