Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is underwater in recent polling after taking two months of paid paternity leave to care for his two newborns with his husband Chasten.
According to a Rasmussen Reports poll Tuesday, 47% of respondents have an unfavorable view of Buttigieg taking time off in mid-August when the couple adopted two newborns while the nation remains embroiled with the COVID-19 pandemic and a resulting supply chain crisis.
Of the 47%, 36% said their view was “very unfavorable,” compared to 37% with a favorable view, and 20% of those with a “very favorable” view of the former presidential candidate and mayor of South Bend, Indiana.
Another 16% of respondents did not have a view on the issue, according to the poll.
The paternity leave issue was more evenly split, but Buttigieg still came out on the wrong end with 48% not approving of him talking the leave and 47% approving the time.
The poll results come as container ships are clogged in ports on the east and west coast, a labor shortage slowing the transportation of goods as well as not providing enough manpower for warehouses and retail stores to stock and sell them, causing many empty shelves as the nation prepares for the Christmas holiday.
“We’re in the middle of a transportation crisis, and Pete Buttigieg is sitting at home,” Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., said in a published report. “Meanwhile, cargo boats are unable to dock, and shelves are sitting empty. Pete needs to either get back to work or leave the Department of Transportation. It’s time to put American families first.”
According to the poll, 65% of voters agreed with her quote, including 48% strongly agreeing, compared to 29% who disagreed with 18% strongly disagreeing.
As expected, Buttigieg, a Democrat, did better among members of his own party with 60% having a favorable view of him, compared to 18% of Republicans, and 29% of unaffiliated voters.
Women voters approved of his leave over male voters 49%-44%, and more Black voters approved, 47%, compared to whites and other minorities with 35% and 33% respectively.
The survey of 1,000 U.S. likely voters was conducted on Oct. 17-18, by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC., according to the organization.