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Chief Justice John Roberts Tops Poll as Most Popular Federal Official, Gallup Says

Michael Foust | Contributor | Friday, January 7, 2022
Chief Justice John Roberts Tops Poll as Most Popular Federal Official, Gallup Says

Chief Justice John Roberts Tops Poll as Most Popular Federal Official, Gallup Says

The most popular individual in Washington, D.C., is not the president, a senator or a representative – but instead a member of the U.S. Supreme Court, according to a new Gallup survey.

Chief Justice John Roberts is the most popular federal official according to the poll, which found that 60 percent of Americans approve of the job he is doing while 34 percent disapprove.

Every Democratic and Republican politician in the poll finished well below Roberts, with 46 percent approving of the job done by House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy, 40 percent approving of House Speaker and Democrat Nancy Pelosi, and 43 percent approving of President Biden. All three finished underwater in the poll.

"Roberts is the only one of the leaders rated this year who receives majority approval from Republicans (57 percent) and Democrats (55 percent) in addition to political independents (64 percent)," Gallup's Lydia Saad wrote.

Though nominated by a Republican president (George W. Bush), Roberts has sided with both parties in high-profile cases. 

Roberts voted with pro-lifers to uphold a ban on partial-birth abortions and conservatives in multiple religious liberty cases, including one involving the Obama-era contraceptive/abortion mandate. Roberts also voted with the minority in opposing the nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage. 

Roberts, though, irked conservatives by upholding Obamacare and then again by voting with the majority in a landmark case concerning employment discrimination and sexual orientation/gender identity.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell finished No. 2 behind Roberts in the survey (53 percent approval), followed by Anthony Fauci (52 percent) and Secretary of State Antony Blinken (49 percent). 

"Fauci's job approval is particularly skewed by party, with a 66-percentage-point gap between Democrats' (85 percent) and Republicans' (19 percent) ratings," Saad wrote. "Although Fauci has served as director of NIAID across four Democratic and three Republican administrations since he was appointed during Ronald Reagan's presidency in 1984, clashes between him and several conservative voices (including Trump) over COVID-19 policies have strongly politicized his public image."

The poll was conducted Dec. 1-16 among 811 adults.


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Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Drew Angerer/Staff

Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chroniclethe Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.