Conservatives who regularly complain that they are never called or polled for public opinion surveys will no doubt react with shock at the results of the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey gauging the public’s attitude toward various Republican Party elected officials.
Of the top four figures in the U.S. House and Senate, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is viewed most favorably by voters.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 42% of Likely U.S. Voters have a favorable impression of McCarthy, including 15% with a Very Favorable opinion. Forty-one percent (41%) view the California Republican unfavorably, including 26% with a Very Unfavorable impression. Seventeen percent (17%) are not sure.
OK, with Mitch McConnell as the alternative maybe the finding that Speaker McCarthy was viewed most favorably isn’t so surprising.
However, Rasmussen found McCarthy’s favorability has declined since early June, when 50% of voters had a favorable view of the House GOP leader after his success in negotiating a debt-ceiling compromise.
Nevertheless, McCarthy is viewed more favorably than other congressional leaders, including his Democratic counterpart in the House, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries.
Only thirty-four percent (34%) of voters view Jeffries favorably, including 16% with a Very Favorable opinion of the New York Democrat. Thirty-five percent (35%) view Jeffries unfavorably, including 22% with a Very Unfavorable impression. Thirty-one percent (31%) are undecided. Voter opinions of Jeffries have declined from 39% in February, after he took over leadership of House Democrats from Nancy Pelosi.
On the Senate side, voters view Democratic leader Sen. Chuck Schumer more favorably than GOP leader Sen. Mitch McConnell. Schumer is viewed favorably by 37% of voters, including 16% with a Very Favorable impression of the New York Democrat. Fifty-two percent (52%) view Schumer unfavorably, including 37% with a Very Unfavorable opinion of the Senate Majority Leader. Eleven percent (11%) are not sure.
McConnell is viewed favorably by only 26%, including just six percent (6%) with a Very Favorable impression of the Kentucky Republican. Sixty-four percent (64%) of voters view McConnell unfavorably, including 35% with a Very Unfavorable opinion of the Senate Minority Leader. Ten percent (10%) are undecided.
A significant difference between Schumer’s and McConnell’s ratings is that most Democratic voters like their party’s Senate leader, while most GOP voters don’t like McConnell. Schumer is viewed at least somewhat favorably by 57% of Democrats, but only 37% of Republicans have a favorable opinion of McConnell. Similarly, while 68% of self-identified liberal voters view Schumer favorably, just 40% of conservatives have a favorable impression of McConnell.
On the House side, McCarthy is viewed at least somewhat favorably by 66% of Republicans and 71% of conservative voters. Jeffries is viewed favorably by 52% of Democrats and 56% of liberals.
Among voters not affiliated with either major party, Schumer is viewed at least somewhat favorably by 34%, compared to 32% for McCarthy, 30% for Jeffries and 17% for McConnell.
McCarthy is the most popular congressional leader for men, 48% of whom have a favorable impression of him. McConnell is particularly unpopular with women voters, 66% of whom have an unfavorable opinion of the Senate GOP leader.
McCarthy is viewed at least somewhat favorably by 40% of whites, 45% of black voters and 47% of other minorities. Jeffries is viewed favorably by 34% of whites, 40% of black voters and 32% of other minorities. Schumer is viewed favorably by 37% of whites, 35% of black voters and 39% of other minorities. McConnell is viewed favorably by 27% of whites, 21% of black voters and 25% of other minorities.
So, is Kevin McCarthy the most popular figure in the Republican Party?
It is important to remember “favorability” doesn’t necessarily equate to “popularity” or support for election – it just means the subject is likeable. So, it is more akin to a measure of who wins “Miss Congeniality” rather than who voters want to run the country.
In that vein, there was one other important finding in the recent Rasmussen Reports surveys: Republican voters overwhelmingly favor former President Donald Trump as their party’s nominee in next year’s primaries.
Speaker Kevin McCarthy
Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries