Two new Congresswomen become known quantitities – though opinion is divided

January 14, 2019, 3:00 PM GMT+0

Republicans tend to be suspicious of women seeking special favors under the guise of ‘equality’

Two newly-elected Congresswomen, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib, have become nearly as well-known as several more senior legislators, although opinion of them divides by party, and in the latest Economist/YouGov Poll, negative views of the two new Representatives are as common as positive ones.

The survey was conducted after Tlaib made her much-criticized remark last week about impeaching President Trump, using vulgar language. Republicans overwhelmingly hold unfavorable views of her, as well as of Ocasio-Cortez. Democrats are overwhelmingly favorable.

Nearly as many Americans have an opinion of Ocasio- Cortez as have one of Senator Elizabeth Warren; as many have an opinion of Tlaib as have one of Senator Susan Collins. Both Senators have been in office longer, and Warren has just announced the formation of a Presidential exploratory committee. Several other new members of Congress asked about in the poll are unknown to three-quarters or more of the public.

Nearly all of these legislators, known and unknown, get mixed reviews from those who express an opinion.

The poll finds suspicion about women’s political activity – and the suspicions are more likely to be held by Republicans than Democrats. In the Economist/YouGov Poll, Republicans – especially Republican men – are especially likely to believe women who are asking for equality are really asking for special favors.

Many also believe that women seek to get power by gaining control over men, something more than four in ten Republicans (male and female) are likely to believe. Republicans are less willing than Democrats to attribute a superior moral sensibility to women. 42% of Democrats think women do have a higher moral sense; only about half as many Republicans (22%) agree. More than a third of Republicans disagree and many in both parties neither agree nor disagree.

However, women of both parties say it’s harder for women to get elected than it is for men. Republican men aren’t so sure about that, though. The results show that as many of them think it’s easier for a woman to win election as believe that it’s easier for a man.

Democrats are more open than Republicans to a woman President of their own party. 84% of them say it would be a good thing if a Democratic woman was to be elected (and it appears several will run in 2020); 59% of Republicans say that about a GOP woman becoming President. But electing a woman may not be the country’s highest priority. Just 10% of men and 20% of women say it is “extremely important” to them personally for the country to elect a woman President in their lifetime. And most of these respondents are Democrats. Hardly any Republicans agree. Half of them say it is “not important at all.”

See the full toplines and tables results

Photo: Getty