Donald Trump Approval Rating Continues Fall as Nancy Pelosi Now More Popular Than at Any Point This Decade

As President Donald Trump's approval rating tumbles to match his all-time lows, his government shutdown opponent, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, is seeing her approval rating rise to its highest point in a decade.

Among respondents in a CBS News poll conducted from January 18 to 21, 39 percent approved of the way Pelosi is handling her job as speaker of the House, while 50 percent disapproved.

By comparison, 36 percent of respondents said they approved of the way Trump is handling his job, and 59 percent disapproved. The CBS News poll had 1,102 respondents.

Though Pelosi's approval rating remained well under 50 percent, she is more popular than she has been in about a decade.

Gallup, which has tracked Pelosi since 2003, released a poll in early January showing that her favorability rating in December 2018 was 38 percent, higher than her historical average of 33 percent and up 9 percentage points from her previous measurement last June. Pelosi's highest favorability rating was 44 percent, back in January 2007.

“Democrats' view of Pelosi improved markedly by December, as her favorability among them rose 17 percentage points from June's reading of 55 percent,” the Gallup report said. “Previous Gallup polling has shown that such an increase is at least in part attributable to the electoral success of the leader's party.”

Washington Post congressional reporter Paul Kane noted that Pelosi's 39 percent in the CBS News poll is “a great number” given that the Congressional Leadership Fund, a top Republican super PAC, spent about $50 million on advertisements against her.

A Post analysis last week suggested that Pelosi was “surely benefiting from her visible opposition to an unpopular president,” but also noted that House speakers typically are most popular at the start of their terms.

Regarding who they thought was doing a better job handling the shutdown impasse, 47 percent of respondents in the CBS News poll chose Pelosi, while only 35 percent said Trump.

Trump and Pelosi have both drawn criticism and been called “petty” for their back-and-forth on the State of the Union address, originally scheduled for next week.

Pelosi sent a letter to Trump on January 16 asking that he postpone the address until after the shutdown ends due to “security concerns,” or deliver it at another location. On Wednesday, Trump responded in a letter that the Department of Homeland Security indicated there would be “absolutely no problem regarding security” and that he planned to deliver the address in the congressional chamber.

Pelosi then wrote back that the House would not consider a resolution authorizing his address in the chamber until the government reopens.

Trump's approval rating has reached its lowest level amid the shutdown in various polls, including the conservative-leaning Rasmussen Reports, which typically gives him a higher rating than other surveys.

The shutdown, which marked its 34th day on Thursday, is the longest in the country's history, as Trump stands by his demand for $5.7 billion for a border wall and Democrats refuse to provide it.

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Nancy Pelosi, then the House minority leader, and President Donald Trump argue while making statements to the press before a meeting at the White House on December 11, 2018. Pelosi's approval rating is the highest this decade, while Trump's continues to fall. BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images