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

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezTexas man charged for alleged role in Capitol riots, online death threats to Ocasio-Cortez DC residents jumped at opportunity to pay for meals for National Guardsmen Tensions running high after gun incident near House floor 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 HarrisBiden must wait weekend for State Department pick Senators introduce bill to award Officer Goodman the Congressional Gold Medal An ally in the White House is good for abortion access, but not enough MORE (D-Calif.) 689 times, Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenStudent loan forgiveness would be windfall for dentists, doctors and lawyers OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden's Interior Department temporarily blocks new drilling on public lands | Group of GOP senators seeks to block Biden moves on Paris, Keystone | Judge grants preliminary approval for 0M Flint water crisis settlement Senate approves waiver for Biden's Pentagon nominee MORE (D-Mass.) 687 times, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSunday shows preview: All eyes on Biden administration to tackle coronavirus The Hill's 12:30 Report: Next steps in the Trump impeachment Sanders selling sweatshirts with his famous inauguration pose for charity MORE (I-Vt.) 667 times, former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenDC residents jumped at opportunity to pay for meals for National Guardsmen Joe Biden might bring 'unity' – to the Middle East Biden shouldn't let defeating cancer take a backseat to COVID MORE 528 times, Sen. Cory BookerCory BookerDemocrats seek answers on impact of Russian cyberattack on Justice Department, Courts Senate confirms Biden's intel chief, giving him first Cabinet official Booker brings girlfriend, actress Rosario Dawson, to inauguration MORE (D-N.J.) 420 times and former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeBoebert appears to carry gun on Capitol Hill in new ad 7 surprise moments from a tumultuous year in politics Mexican president breaks with other world leaders, refusing to acknowledge Biden win until election is finalized 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 PelosiSunday shows preview: All eyes on Biden administration to tackle coronavirus Calls grow for 9/11-style panel to probe Capitol attack Do Democrats really want unity? 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