Poll: Republicans think Ocasio-Cortez is 'bad' for Democrats but Dem voters and independents haven't decided

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezVA 'ain't broke' — but it can certainly be improved The Memo: GOP banks on Biden falling in primary Dems seek to rein in calls for impeachment MORE hurts the Democratic Party more than she helps it, according to a Hill-HarrisX poll released Friday that also found many voters are undecided when it comes to the first-term New York Democrat.

In the survey, 25 percent of respondents said the self-described "democratic socialist" was good for her party, and 35 percent said she was bad for it. Forty percent said they had no opinion.

Among Democratic voters with an opinion about Ocasio-Cortez, 83 percent said she was good for their party. Eighty-seven percent of Republicans said she was bad for Democrats.

While almost half of independent voters had no opinion on the matter, 72 percent of those who did said Ocasio-Cortez is bad for the Democratic Party. Twenty eight percent said she was good for Democrats.

GOP-leaning respondents were much more likely than independents and Democrats to have an opinion of Ocasio-Cortez. Only 28 percent of Republican respondents said they had no opinion of her, compared to 42 percent of Democrats and 48 percent of independents who said the same.

Ocasio-Cortez has been mentioned 766 times this year on Fox News, more than all of the most popular Democrats who are running or considering running for president in 2020, according to closed caption transcripts collected by the Internet Archive.

By comparison, Fox News has mentioned Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisJulián Castro: Trump should be impeached for trying to obstruct justice 'in very concrete ways' Poll: Buttigieg tops Harris, O'Rourke as momentum builds Trump Jr. slams 2020 Dems as 'more concerned' about rights of murderers than legal gun owners MORE (D-Calif.) 689 times, Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenJulián Castro: Trump should be impeached for trying to obstruct justice 'in very concrete ways' Poll: Biden tops Sanders nationally Pete Buttigieg: 'God doesn't have a political party' MORE (D-Mass.) 687 times, Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersAndrew Cuomo: Biden has best chance at 'main goal' of beating Trump Poll: Buttigieg tops Harris, O'Rourke as momentum builds Buttigieg responds to accusation of pushing a 'hate hoax' about Pence MORE (I-Vt.) 667 times, former Vice President Joe BidenJoseph (Joe) Robinette BidenAndrew Cuomo: Biden has best chance at 'main goal' of beating Trump Poll: Buttigieg tops Harris, O'Rourke as momentum builds Buttigieg responds to accusation of pushing a 'hate hoax' about Pence MORE 528 times, Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerHarris adds another to her list of endorsements in South Carolina The Hill's Morning Report - Dem candidates sell policy as smart politics 2020 Dems rebuke Trump on Iran, say they'd put US back in nuclear deal MORE (D-N.J.) 420 times and former Rep. Beto O'RourkeRobert (Beto) Francis O'RourkePoll: Buttigieg tops Harris, O'Rourke as momentum builds The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump team fights back over Dem subpoena 2020 Dems back repeal of controversial New Hampshire voting law MORE (D-Texas) 375 times during the same time period.

Polling conducted by Gallup indicates that awareness of Ocasio-Cortez has increased dramatically in recent months, especially among people who favor the GOP. In a September survey, 43 percent of Republicans said they had no opinion of her. Only 22 percent said the same in a February poll.

"Both parties need to have a foil, they need to identify who is going to be the villain in the story for the next election," B.J. Martino, a GOP pollster affiliated with the Tarrance Group, said Friday on Hill.TV's "What America's Thinking."

"And for Republicans, it's been [Speaker] Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiPence to pitch trade deal during trip to Michigan: report Julián Castro: Trump should be impeached for trying to obstruct justice 'in very concrete ways' Swalwell on impeachment: 'We're on that road' after Mueller report MORE [D-Calif.] for well over a decade. That storyline has sort of played itself out now. And so you know why Fox News is beginning to focus on some presidential candidates, beginning to focus on AOC more, because we need to identify who's going to be that lightning rod going forward," he added, referring to Ocasio-Cortez's initials.

The Hill-HarrisX survey also found that men were much more likely than women to have an opinion on whether Ocasio-Cortez is good for her party. Seventy-seven percent of men had an opinion of her, compared to 50 percent of women.

"I do think that AOC's race and gender are large part of the specific reaction to her, even more so than her policies that she shares with a lot of other Democratic politicians," Pia Nargundkar, a senior associate at the ALG Research political strategy firm told "What America's Thinking" host Jamal Simmons.

The poll also found that younger voters were more likely to view Ocasio-Cortez favorably. Sixty-one percent of respondents between the ages of 18 and 34 who had an opinion of the lawmaker said she is good for Democrats, a view shared by 57 percent of respondents between 35 and 49.

Twenty-nine percent of voters between 50 and 64 with an opinion of her said that Ocasio-Cortez is good for Democrats, with only 20 percent of respondents older than 65 agreeing.

—Matthew Sheffield