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

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezDemocratic convention lineup to include Ocasio-Cortez, Clinton, Warren: reports Ethics Committee orders Tlaib to refund campaign ,800 for salary payments Hispanic Caucus asks for Department of Labor meeting on COVID in meatpacking plants 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 HarrisBiden campaign says no VP pick yet after bike trail quip Hillary Clinton roasts NYT's Maureen Dowd over column Biden edges closer to VP pick: Here's who's up and who's down MORE (D-Calif.) 689 times, Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenBiden campaign says no VP pick yet after bike trail quip Biden edges closer to VP pick: Here's who's up and who's down Democratic convention lineup to include Ocasio-Cortez, Clinton, Warren: reports MORE (D-Mass.) 687 times, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Memo: Trump team pounces on Biden gaffes The Hill's Campaign Report: US officials say Russia, China are looking to sow discord in election Warren urges investment in child care workers amid pandemic MORE (I-Vt.) 667 times, former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden says Trump executive order is 'a reckless war on Social Security' Trump got into testy exchange with top GOP donor Adelson: report Blumenthal calls for declassification of materials detailing Russian threat to US elections MORE 528 times, Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerSenate Democrats demand answers on migrant child trafficking during pandemic Senate Democrats push to include free phone calls for incarcerated people in next relief package Ex-USAID employee apologizes, denies sending explosive tweets MORE (D-N.J.) 420 times and former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeBeto O'Rourke calls Texas GOP 'a death cult' over coronavirus response Hegar, West to face off in bitter Texas Senate runoff Bellwether counties show trouble for Trump 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 PelosiPelosi, Schumer slam Trump executive orders, call for GOP to come back to negotiating table Trump signs executive orders after coronavirus relief talks falter Sunday shows preview: White House, congressional Democrats unable to breach stalemate over coronavirus relief 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