Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Pelosi, Schumer watch support nose-dive among Black, Hispanic voters

By Kery Murakami |The Washington Times 

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., speaks with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., during Paid Leave for All rally on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2021. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Support among Black voters and other minorities for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer is plummeting.

From April to September, Black support for Mrs. Pelosi and Mr. Schumer dropped from 50% to 39%, according to Pew Research polling data provided to The Washington Times.

Support among Black voters for Congress’ overall Democratic leadership skidded from 82% to 59% in that time frame.

The decline mirrors Mr. Biden’s waning popularity among minorities. Black respondents who approved of Mr. Biden’s job performance dropped from 85% to 67% during the same five-month span. It dropped from 72% to 56% among Hispanics and 68% to 54% among Asians.

The eroding job approval for Democratic leaders follows party infighting in Washington, gridlock in Congress and the Democrats’ failures to deliver promised racial justice overhauls of policing and elections.

Rising inflation and a struggling economy are other reasons for voters, including minorities, to be unhappy with Democrats, who have complete control of power in Washington, said Brendan Steinhauser, a Republican political consultant in Texas.

“Everybody was better off before Biden economically,” said Mr. Steinhauser, a former campaign manager for Sen. John Cornyn, Texas Republican and an organizer of the tea party march on Washington in 2009. “People aren’t seeing a lot from the Biden administration, except for a lot of spending and paying some people not to work.”

Mr. Schumer, New York Democrat, and Mrs. Pelosi, California Democrat, refused to answer questions for this article, as did the Democratic House and Senate campaign committees.

Georgetown University political science professor Nadia Brown, an expert in Black women in politics, said the dwindling support also could reflect frustration over Democrats’ failure to pass popular liberal policies such as subsidized child care, which is one of the measures in Mr. Biden’s stalled $3.5 trillion social welfare and climate change bill.

“The policies that Americans want aren’t happening,” she said. “The politics is happening.”

Support for the Democratic leaders also dropped among other minority groups polled by Pew.

In April, 64% of Hispanics approved of Democratic leaders’ job performance. In September, the number tumbled to 51%. Support for the Democrats among Asians fell from 64% to 55% during that time.

The decline in support among minorities, who were key to winning the White House, threatens Democrats’ chances of keeping control of the House and Senate in next year’s midterm elections.

However, the drop in popularity for Democrats hasn’t meant a lovefest for Republican leaders. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky also took hits, according to the Pew data.

Job approval for Republican congressional leaders dropped from 32% in April to 27% in September. Even among White respondents, those who approved of the job the Republicans are doing edged down from 33% to 29%. Support for Mr. McCarthy and Mr. McConnell also dropped among Black, Hispanic and Asian voters in the survey.

Mr. McConnell and Mr. McCarthy also refused to comment for this article, as did the Republican campaign committees for House and Senate candidates.

Indeed, Americans — regardless of party or race — are not happy with the job performance in Washington.

“It’s a plague on both of their houses,” said Mr. Steinhauser. “I don’t know if people feel like there’s a good alternative offered by Republicans. There’s still work to be done.”

Still, he viewed the unhappiness of minority voters as an opening for Republicans with that solidly Democratic bloc.

Mike Madrid, a former political director for the California Republican Party, said the declining approval numbers toward all congressional leaders by people of all races reflect the country’s economic woes.

“People are feeling less confident. The mood of the electorate is beginning to sour,” he said. “There’s a trepidation that the stimulus money is ending and maybe not having a way of being able to get back into the workforce.”

Mr. Madrid said every elected official in Washington is at risk. “It’s not a good prognosis for incumbents,” he said.