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Polls: Americans still view Ocasio-Cortez as strongly unfavorable

Posted: 10:36 AM, Mar 16, 2019
Updated: 2019-03-16 10:36:32-04

NEW YORK (CNN) — A new Gallup poll finds that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has a 31% favorable rating and a 41% unfavorable rating. This makes for a -10 point net favorability rating — or strongly unfavorable.

This poll is very similar to a February Fox News poll, which gave Ocasio-Cortez a -13 point net favorability rating because of a 26% favorable rating and a 39% unfavorable rating.

Ocasio-Cortez has done a very good job generating a lot of press in a very short time. The fact that over 70% of the public can form an opinion of a freshman member of Congress is statistically remarkable. For comparison, just 53% of Americans had an opinion of then-Illinois Sen. Barack Obama at the end of his first two years in Congress in Gallup’s polling. That is, Obama wasn’t well known even long after his 2004 Democratic National Convention speech and just before he announced that he was running for president.

The problem for Ocasio-Cortez is that a lot of the people forming an opinion of her are coming down on the negative side. Her net favorability rating in these polls put her on par with President Donald Trump. His net favorability in an average of the latest Fox News and Gallup polls was -12 points — the same as Ocasio-Cortez’s.

Ocasio-Cortez also seems to be generating the same asymmetric intensity in public opinion as the President. Her strongly unfavorable rating was 18 points higher than her strongly favorable rating in the Fox News poll. Trump’s strongly unfavorable rating was 16 points higher than his strongly favorable rating in the same poll.

It wasn’t always this way for Ocasio-Cortez. After she burst onto the national scene last year — when she defeated Rep. Joe Crowley in the Democratic primary for New York’s 14th district — her favorable rating (24%) was nearly on par with unfavorable rating (26%) in Gallup’s polling. But as Ocasio-Cortez has become better known, her unfavorable ratings has gone up far faster than her favorable ratings.