Michelle Obama, former President Bill Clinton and Gov. Chris Christie are hot, while congressional Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid – along with former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin – are not, according to a survey released Monday.
Taking registered voters’ temperatures on their feelings toward national political figures, a Quinnipiac University poll found that the first lady topped the list, with a mean score of 60.1 degrees, while Clinton was second at 59.2 degrees.
Participants were asked to rate their feelings toward the political figures on a 0-to-100 degree scale, with higher numbers indicating the warmer or more favorable they feel toward a particular person.
Christie, the governor of New Jersey, was the top current elected official and the top Republican on the list, with a mean score of 57 degrees, slightly above President Barack Obama’s 56.5 rating. Christie may have benefited from not being particularly well-known: while 0 percent of those surveyed said they did not know enough about Obama to rate him, 55 percent said the same about Christie.
Others getting scores above 50 degrees were former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, House Speaker John Boehner and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Three of the four Republicans – all except Boehner – have expressed some interest in running for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination.
Lower ratings in the survey indicated cooler or more negative sentiments, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi received the coldest response, with a mean score of 32.9 degrees. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid did a bit better, at 34.8 degrees. The only other person who polled below 40 was Sarah Palin, at 38.2 degrees.
Quinnipiac surveyed 1,887 registered voters Feb. 21-28. The error margin is plus or minus 2.3 percentage points.