House GOP’s Reputation Suffers Amid Speakership Battle

As the House GOP battles to elect a new Speaker following Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Calif.) ouster last week, public confidence in Republican leaders in Congress has declined.

During the heated struggle for Speaker of the House, only 1/4 of Americans approve of Republican leaders in Congress, according to a new CNN/SSRS survey, down from a third of those polled in January. The percentage of people with a wrong opinion of the Republican Party rose to 52% in April from 44% in January.

Since last week, when eight Republican members of the House joined forces with Democrats to remove McCarthy as Speaker, things have been chaotic for Republicans. Even though Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) won the nomination vote in the conference on Wednesday, there is still division among Republicans over whether they will support him in a vote in the House.

Opinions among Americans on whether or not to remove McCarthy’s gavel are divided. Fifty percent of those polled agreed that the California Republican should be removed from office, while 49 percent disagreed. Even among Republicans and independents who lean Republican, opinions are split: 34% think his ouster was terrible for the party, while 30% believe it was positive.

About 56% of GOP primary voters support Trump’s candidacy and are more inclined to agree with the decision to remove McCarthy. Even among Trump-opposing Republicans, 37% said they backed the decision to fire McCarthy.

Even though Republicans in Congress have dismal approval ratings, Americans still regard them more favorably than President Biden. To “tackle the major issues affecting the country,” 54% of Americans had more faith in congressional Republicans than in Biden.

The poll’s margin of error, conducted online among 1,255 American adults between October 4 and 9, is 3.4%.