Memo: Favorability of Major Political Figures and Organizations in Battleground Districts

By: Sean McElwee of Data for Progress and Emily Bello-Pardo, John Ray, and Mark White of YouGov Blue

Executive Summary

  • On net, among voters in battleground districts, Ocasio-Cortez polls at least as well as other major Democratic figures. Although all political figures had negative net favorability, Ocasio-Cortez is viewed roughly as favorably on net as Joe Biden, and more favorably on net than President Donald Trump and Democratic leadership.

  • “Clean-energy companies” and “climate activists” both poll more favorably than “fossil fuel companies.” 

  • Senator Elizabeth Warren had the highest net favorable ratings among the presidential candidates we tested.

  • Each member of “the Squad”—Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib—has a higher net favorability than President Donald Trump, Senator Mitch McConnell, and the Republican Party in battleground districts. While Trump’s net favorability is lower, we note that his raw favorability is higher than each member of “the Squad.”

In order to ensure the reliability of our results, we asked Civiqs to replicate our results. That memo is available here.

Validation findings

  • Elizabeth Warren has the highest favorable rating of any Democrat in the battleground districts -- especially among Independents.

  • Independents in the battleground districts have a much more favorable opinion of Elizabeth Warren than Joe Biden.

  • Favorable ratings of Joe Biden and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are essentially the same in swing districts.