Updated at 8:20 a.m. on January 20.
He drinks, smokes, plays golf, and rocks a killer tan. But Speaker John Boehner’s tears may be his manliest quality, at least in the eyes of some Ohio voters.
According to a new Quinnipiac poll, voters in his home state view Boehner’s tendency to cry in public as a sign of strength, not weakness, by 36 percent to 27 percent. However, even more respondents (37 percent) remain undecided about whether the waterworks make him a tough guy or a crybaby.
Boehner hasn’t been afraid to show his emotions since being elected to public office. To name a few: He choked up on the House floor in 2007 during a speech about funding the Iraq War, he wept when the GOP took the majority (he started losing it when he said “I've spent my whole life chasing the American Dream”), and he downright blubbered his way through his first 60 Minutes interview on his way to becoming speaker.
And the Quinnipiac poll shows that women love it. By 44 percent to 20 percent, women find the tears to be a sign of strength (only 27 percent of men see it as a sign of strength, compared to 34 percent who see it as weakness).
The 9-point margin of approval for Boehner’s crying resembles his overall popularity in the state. Ohioans have a favorable view of the speaker by 27 percent to 18 percent.
The poll surveyed 1,299 registered voters (both via landline and cell phone) January 12-17, and has a margin of error of +/- 2.7 percentage points.
According to the same poll, Ohioans are split (48 percent to 44 percent) about whether they believe President Obama should be reelected. Obama has a similar edge when it comes to his approval rating, where 49 percent of respondents approve of the job he is doing versus 44 percent who do not. This is a reversal of the 45-49 percent approval rating he had in Ohio in June of last year. The rising numbers match a trend for the president found in several national polls.
But if he really wants to up his numbers in this important swing state, perhaps Obama could afford to shed a few more tears.