Representative Hakeem Jeffries, a New York Democrat, announced his candidacy last week to succeed Nancy Pelosi, age 82, as his party's leader in the U.S. House of Representatives. Jeffries, age 52, has already earned the endorsement of other high-ranking Democratic leaders who will step down with Pelosi from leadership positions and support the new generation.
Many Democrats have positive views of Jeffries, according to the latest Economist/YouGov poll — with favorable opinions exceeding the unfavorable ones by a ratio of more than four to one, or 46% to 11%. Younger Democrats are more likely than older members of the party to have an opinion of Jeffries and it is slightly less overwhelmingly positive than for Democrats overall: 19% of Democratic adults under 30 view him unfavorably.
Two-thirds of Democrats (67%) approve of Pelosi’s decision to step down from the party leadership role, as do majorities of Democrats in each major age group. Pelosi will remain in the House, even as she steps down from the top spot for a Democrat in the chamber — and she leaves as an overwhelmingly popular figure in the party. Pelosi earned high approval marks from Democrats nationwide as the party's leader in the House.
By a wide margin, Democrats approve of Jeffries taking Pelosi's place as what will soon be minority leader, since the Democrats lost control of the House in the 2022 congressional elections. Most (57%) Democrats approve, and just 8% do not. While 18- to 29-year-old Democrats are especially likely to approve of Jeffries becoming the leader, majorities of Democrats in older age groups do as well.
– Carl Bialik and Taylor Orth contributed to this article
Polling by the Economist/YouGov was conducted on November 19 - 22, 2022 among 1,500 U.S. adult citizens. Explore more on the methodology and data for this Economist/YouGov poll.Image: Getty Images (Kevin Dietsch)