Quinnipiac Poll: What Do Boehner’s Tears Say About Him?

Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) cried when Republicans took back the House. He sniffled in an interview with 60 Minutes. And he’s teared up in several speeches on the House floor. Perhaps now he’ll cry again, as a pollster has gone and asked his constituents whether the House leader was tarnishing his image with all that sobbing.

Yes, Quinnipiac University recently gauged Ohio voters’ opinion of several lawmakers, tacking on a bonus question asking whether Boehner’s wet-eyed sentimentality was a sign of strength or weakness.The survey asked:

As you may know, John Boehner, the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, often cries in public. Do you think that is a sign of strength or weakness?

Thirty-six percent of respondents said they saw it as a sign of strength, while 27% took it as a sign of weakness. A slim 37% plurality of respondents said they either didn’t know, or had no opinion.

Women were far more likely than men to laud Boehner’s public crying, with 44% of them seeing that as a sign of strength versus 20% who saw it as a sign of weakness. Men split the other way, with 34% seeing weakness in Boehner’s tears compared to 27% who saw strength.

Ohioans still have a relatively favorable opinion of Boehner overall. In the same poll, 27% of respondents said they have a favorable opinion of the Speaker, versus 18% who have an unfavorable opinion of him. An additional 52% said they don’t know him well enough to form an opinion.

The Quinnipiac poll was conducted January 12-17 among 1,299 registered voters in Ohio. The poll has a margin of error of 2.7%.