Michele Bachmann retires with Democrats strongly united against her and Republicans more divided in their support
Last Wednesday, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) announced that she would not seek re-election after her current term ends in 2014. Bachmann, considered a leader of the Tea Party in Congress, has achieved national prominence both for presidential bid in 2012 and her often contentious public statements.
New research form YouGov shows that Americans have an extremely divided view of the Congresswomen. Overall, 34% of Americans had a favorable view of Bachmann, while 40% had an unfavorable of her. This, in fact, compares quite well with other Members of Congress such as Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner, for whom opinion is much more resolutely negative.
The contrast between Republicans and Democrats in opinion, however, was very pronounced. Of the Democrats with an opinion about Bachmann, 67% had a "very unfavorable" opinion of her and 15% had a "somewhat unfavorable" opinion of her, while among Republicans opinion was more evenly split between "very favorable" and "somewhat favorable"
The response to the two other questions we asked on Bachmann garnered response in much the same pattern as this first question. When asked whether she should had had a positive or negative effect on American politics during her time in office, overall 38% of Americans said she had a positive effect and 48% said she had a negative effect. 65% of Republicans said she had a negative effect, while 81% of Democrats said she had a negative effect.
Similarly, when asked whether they'd like to see Michele Bachmann remain a public figure, either in office or in media, 35% of Americans said yes, including 59% of Republicans. On the other hand, 49% of Americans said they would not like to see her continue to be a public figure, including 82% of Democrats.
Before Bachmann announced her decision not to run again, it was speculated that the 2014 race in her district would be a close one. Her 2012 opponent, Jim Graves, who finished less than 5,000 votes behind her, had announced his intention to run again. Since Bachmann announced her decision last week, Graves has dropped out of the 2014 race.
Full results can be found here.