US President Donald Trump speaks to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan after signing House Joint Resolution 41, which removes some Dodd-Frank regulations on oil and gas companies, during a bill signing ceremony in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, February 14, 2017.
SAUL LOEB, AFP/Getty Images
By Jennifer Calfas
April 17, 2017

President Donald Trump is not the most unpopular Republican in Washington, D.C. House Speaker Paul Ryan has the president beat in that category.

According to a new Pew Research study, 29% of Americans approve of Ryan’s performance, while 39% approve of Trump’s performance — a rating that has fluctuated since Trump took office, but has remained at historically low levels for a new president.

Ryan’s ratings are also a drop compared with those for House speakers before him. Rated at a similar time during his tenure, former House Speaker John Boehner had a 36% approval rating. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, then-House speaker, had a 35% approval rating, and former House speaker Newt Gingrich scored 43%.

Democratic opposition to Ryan is also stronger than that for previous Republican House speakers. In fact, 75% of Democrats disapprove of Ryan’s job performance. Less than half of Democrats — 49% — disapproved of Boehner’s, and 61% disapproved of Gingrich’s.

And Ryan still faces some opposition on his side of the aisle. Thirty-one percent of Republicans disapprove of Ryan’s performance, while more than 19% had disapproved of Boehner’s and 23% had disapproved of Gingrich’s.

Ryan’s approval ratings come after Republican lawmakers’ failed attempt to replace the Affordable Care Act. American voters blamed Ryan for the bill’s failure more than Trump, according to a March poll from Public Policy Polling.

Ahead of Trump’s inauguration in January, Ryan was re-elected to the top seat in the House by his colleagues.

Consistent with previous years, the majority of Americans view Congress unfavorably, with only 34% approval, the study shows. Additionally, 52% of Americans said the Republican Party is “too extreme,” and 40% said the same for the Democratic Party.

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