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Political Insiders Poll

Political Insiders Poll

On balance, who has been helped politically in the debt-ceiling debate? (check all that apply)

Democrats (109 votes)

Barack Obama: 77%
Mitch McConnell: 19%
John Boehner: 16%
Harry Reid: 13%
Eric Cantor: 12%
Nancy Pelosi: 12%
No one (volunteered): 7%



“He stepped up to the plate and looked like a leader when he pushed for a ‘big deal.’ ”

“The president has used his bully pulpit to put the GOP on the defensive.”


“The president appears reasonable and serious. The congressional leaders look like typical politicians.”

“Obama has been helped, but mostly because the Republican leadership looks so beholden to the tea party fanatics.”

“This one is [on] a stink scale: Obama simply stinks less.”



“It kills me to say it, but, throughout, McConnell has mostly acted consistently and in the best interest of his caucus—just not my caucus!”


“Boehner has been able to demonstrate that he has a vision of what
a speaker ought to do in a tough battle.”


“A deal will require presidential leadership at every turn, and he’s doing it along with Harry Reid in their quiet, effective way.”


“Cantor solidifies his support amongst tea party members of Congress and activists.”


“She is standing up for progressives and putting a brake on big cuts to Social Security and Medicare.”

No one (volunteered)

“The best you can do is hope the other side looks worse.”


On balance, who has been helped politically in the debt-ceiling debate? (check all that apply)

Republicans (103 votes)

Eric Cantor: 41%
Barack Obama: 35%
John Boehner: 32%
Mitch McConnell: 22%
Harry Reid: 5%
Nancy Pelosi: 2%
No one; none yet (volunteered): 16%


“He’s shown to have some real testosterone.”

“He’s becoming a household name, and he will retain tea party cred when Boehner agrees to an inevitable deal that infuriates them.”

“Cantor’s rallied the base to him. Good politics, disastrous policy.”


“R’s still look like and act like we’re most interested in politics than what’s best for our country; Obama is winning the communications game, at least for now.”

“Obama wins because he owns the microphone and will have the last word. Sigh.”


“Boehner has shown a willingness to negotiate and lead. In this situation, you get what you can, not what you want.”


“Albeit controversial, McConnell put a creative proposal on the table that has merit, at least politically.”


“Reid and McConnell look like adults.”


“Nancy has been declared undead.”

No one; none yet (volunteered)

“None of the above: This debacle only helps nonincumbents.”


On balance, who has been hurt politically in the debt-ceiling debate? (check all that apply)

Democrats (109 votes)

Eric Cantor: 71%
John Boehner: 59%
Mitch McConnell: 31%
Nancy Pelosi: 21%
Harry Reid: 20%
Barack Obama: 17%


“He’s quickly becoming Newt: petulant and childish.”

“He comes across as someone who wants Obama to fail, as opposed to doing what is best for the country.”

“If the deal is done in spite of him or over him, he’ll be weakened.”

“Cantor makes one think back almost fondly of Tom DeLay and his reign of terror.”


“Tea party has dictated to his caucus while he got to play golf with the president.”

“By seeking to be a grown-up, he may be losing his grip on the GOP Conference.”

“We finally saw who is really in control of the Republican House, and it’s not Boehner.”


“McConnell has once again shown that at all costs, killing any Obama deal is his top priority.”

This article appears in the July 23, 2011 edition of National Journal Magazine.

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