Whatever bounce in his polling numbers John Boehner got from becoming Speaker didn’t last very long. When PPP started its weekly polling for Daily Kos last month Boehner’s approval rating was a positive 35/28 spread. Within two weeks that was already on the decline to just barely favorable territory at 33/31 and now he’s already in the red with the portion of voters who approve of him down to 28% and his disapproval at 30%.
There are two main reasons for that overall drop. The first is that independents in particular have become quickly disenchanted with him. He’s had a 13 point drop in his net approval with them over the last four weeks- after starting out at a positive 34/30, he’s now down to a negative 23/32. The second is that there are already indications that his performance is making the Republican base antsy. He started out at a 56/15 approval with them and has already dropped a net ten points to 49/18. We’ve long wondered if a decidedly establishment figure like Boehner would be able to keep an increasing empowered and anti-establishment base happy and cracks are already beginning to show.
Beyond Boehner’s numbers the most amazing thing on our poll this week is that not only are Democrats back ahead on the generic Congressional ballot by a 45-41 margin, but they’re ahead by a 38-31 margin with independents! That’s a quite change from what we saw over the course of 2009 and 2010. The four point lead for Democrats on the generic ballot represents an 11 point shift from the November elections and there were more than 40 districts that Democrats lost by that margin or less so if we went to the polls today under the current district configuration it’s entirely possible Democrats would get their House majority right back. Of course redistricting will give Republicans some opportunities to shore things up for themselves but at any rate the honeymoon, such as it ever was, looks to be over.
PPP’s full poll for Daily Kos