The Democrats leading the House and Senate both have higher net ratings in the new NBC News Poll's feeling thermometer than the Republican congressional leaders do, even though all four lawmakers remain either largely unpopular or unknown.
New York Democrat Sen. Chuck Schumer, the Senate Majority Leader, had the highest positive marks in the poll — 8% of adults in America say they view him "very" positively while another 13% say they view him "somewhat" positively. Ten percent view him "somewhat" negatively and 24% view him "very" negative, while 26% are neutral and 19% either don't know the name or are not sure.
House Democrats' new leader, New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries has the highest net positive rating of the four congressional leaders polled. Nineteen percent view him positively (10% "very" and 9% "somewhat" positive), while 16% view him negatively (5% "somewhat" and 11% "very"). Jeffries is the newest congressional leader, taking over the helm from former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in December, and 51% say they either don't know his name or are not sure, while 14% say they view him neutrally.
The new Speaker of the House, California Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy, has a similar positive rating of 17% (5% "very" and 12% "somewhat" positive) to Jeffries. But his negative rating of 37% (13% "somewhat" and 24% "very" negative) is far higher. Twenty-one percent say they don't know, and 25% are neutral.
The longest-serving caucus leader in Senate history, Kentucky Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell, sports the lowest marks. Ten percent view him positively (3% "very" and 7% "somewhat" positive) and 53% view him negatively (19% "somewhat" and 34% "very" negative). Twenty-six percent are neutral and 11% say they don't know.
The results are similar to adults' views of Democrats and Republicans in Congress writ large. While the images of both parties' members of Congress are both under water, Democrats are viewed more positively. Thirty-six percent of adults view Democrats in Congres positively and 45% view them negatively. Of Republicans in Congress, 27% of adults view them positively and 48% view them negatively.
The NBC News poll was conducted Jan. 20-24 of 1,000 adults — 823 reached by cell phone — and it has an overall margin of error of plus-or-minus 3.1 percentage points. The feeling thermometer responses for Jeffries, Schumer and McConnell have a margin of error of plus-or-minus 4.38% because the question was asked of a smaller sample.