Ocasio-Cortez still popular in district despite being unfavorable nationally

New York Dem’s favorability ratings in own district track with party leaders Schumer, Pelosi

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., attends a House Financial Services Committee hearing titled "Putting Consumers First? A Semi-Annual Review of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau," in Rayburn Building on Thursday, March 7, 2019. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Most people in this country either don’t like her or just don’t know enough about her, but Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez remains popular among her home constituency in New York’s 14th District.

Fifty-two percent of the freshman congresswoman’s registered constituents in The Bronx and the north-central portion of Queens view her favorably, compared to 33 percent who view her unfavorably, according to a new poll from the Sienna College Research Institute released Wednesday.

Ocasio-Cortez’ popularity ratings mirrored the results for both Democratic congressional leaders, Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer of New York, among those surveyed in her district.

“Fifty-nine percent of voters [in the Sienna poll] say that they are proud to have Ocasio-Cortez representing the district, and 61 percent agree that while many of her ideas on the economy, climate or healthcare may not become law soon, they think she is moving us towards a more fair and just society,” Don Levy, the poll’s director, said in a statement.

Levy cited widespread popularity for Ocasio-Cortez’s policy positions — free tuition at public colleges across the country, a ban on assault weapons, a federal guarantee of a job that pays a living wage and “Medicare for all” — as a factor that could be boosting the freshman firebrand.

Pollsters from Sienna College conducted the survey by telephone in both English and Spanish between March 31 and April 4, reaching 607 registered voters. The poll has an overall margin of error of +/- 4.3 percentage points, including the design effects resulting from weighting.

While her own constituents tend to view Ocasio-Cortez favorably, most people across the country do not take kindly to the self-described Democratic Socialist from New York, a March Quinnipiac University poll found.

Less than a quarter — 23 percent — view her favorably nationwide, compared to 36 percent who view her unfavorably. Thirty-eight percent said they haven’t heard enough about the New York Democrat to form an opinion about her.

“All is definitely not A-OK for AOC. Most voters either don’t like the firebrand freshman Congresswoman or don’t know who she is,“ said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

Ocasio-Cortez’ home district in New York does not reflect the overall American demographic picture: Nearly half of the people in New York’s 14th District are of Hispanic or Latino heritage. Less than a quarter of the overall U.S. population has such heritage.

In a testament to how much of a lightning rod Ocasio-Cortez has become in conservative circles, self-identified Republicans in the Quinnipiac poll were twice as likely to say they’ve heard enough about her to form an opinion about whether they view her favorably or not.

Seventy-four percent of Republicans said they view Ocasio-Cortez unfavorably, compared to two percent who view her favorably. And 23 percent said they haven’t heard enough about the congresswoman to form an opinion.

Among the Democrats polled, 47 percent view her favorably, 7 percent view her unfavorably and 44 percent haven’t heard enough about her.

Quinnipiac University pollsters surveyed 1,358 registered voters by landline and cell phone in either English or Spanish between March 21 and March 25.

The margin of error for the full sample was +/- 3.3 percentage points, including the design effect. The margins of error for subsets of Democrats and Republicans were +/- 5.1 percentage points and +/- 5 percentage points, respectively.

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