Boehner Favorability Rating Rises From Record Low

Boehner Favorability Rating Rises From Record Low
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John Boehner -- whose favorability as House speaker reached a record low during last fall's government shutdown -- has seen his image improve to pre-shutdown levels, according to a new Gallup poll.

Thirty-two percent of Americans now see Boehner favorably, up from 27 percent during the shutdown. However, 50 percent still see the Ohio Republican unfavorably, only a 1 percent improvement from his October rating.

When Gallup first asked Americans their opinion of Boehner in 2009, more than half did not have one. However, as the then-minority leader of the House became better known, his favorability ratings remained net negative. Boehner only scored an overall positive rating in January 2011, just as he took the helm as speaker.

While President Obama’s favorability has declined from a record high of 78 percent in 2009, he still performs significantly stronger than Boehner at 52 percent. (The president’s approval rating, however, typically trails his favorability.)

“Ultimately, 2013 wasn't just a bad year for the speaker and the president,” asserted Gallup’s Justin McCarthy. “It was also a bad year for Americans, who watched their government partially halt for 16 days, sending their confidence in the economy downward and convincing them that government itself was the nation's biggest problem.”

The survey of 1,023 adults was conducted Feb. 6-9 and has a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points.

Adam O'Neal is a political reporter for RealClearPolitics. He can be reached at aoneal@realclearpolitics.com. Follow him on Twitter @RealClearAdam.

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