Most Republican Voters Ready to Move On From Mitch McConnell


OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.

A revealing new survey shows that most Republican voters are done with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

According to polling and political research firm Rasmussen Reports, “Republican congressional leaders remain unpopular, even with their own party’s voters, who overwhelmingly want to get rid of” the 80-year-old Kentucky senator, adding:

A new national telephone and online survey by Rasmussen Reports and Paul Bedard’s “Washington Secrets” finds that just 28% of Likely U.S. voters have a favorable impression of McConnell, including five percent (5%) who have a Very Favorable opinion of him. That’s down from 31% who viewed the Kentucky Republican favorably in August. LINK TO Pelosi Slightly More Popular Now Sixty-four percent (64%) now view McConnell unfavorably, including 35% who have a Very Unfavorable impression of him.

Only 21% of Likely Voters believe Senate Republicans keep McConnell as leader, while 61% think they should choose a new leader. Sixty-two percent (62%) of Republican voters want to get rid of McConnell as Senate GOP leader, a sentiment shared by 58% of Democrats and 63% of voters not affiliated with either major party. Among self-identified conservative voters, two-thirds (66%) want Senate Republicans to choose a new leader.


GOP likely voters favor House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) only slightly more, the polling firm noted, as he appears in line to become Speaker, replacing fellow Californian and Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi.

“Thirty-seven percent (37%) of voters view McCarthy favorably, including 11% who have a Very Favorable impression of him. Forty-six percent (46%) view McCarthy unfavorably, including 26% whose opinion is Very Unfavorable. Another 17% are not sure,” the firm noted.

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More likely voters, by a 16-point margin, believe that House GOP members ought to choose a new leader rather than keep McCarthy (47-31 percent). But unlike McConnell, the firm noted, more Republicans are actually against dumping McCarthy; 46 percent of Republican voters said that House Republicans ought to stick with McCarthy versus 38 percent who think they should choose a new leader.

Not surprisingly, a majority of Democratic likely voters, 56 percent, want rid of McCarthy as the GOP leader, as well as 46 percent of voters who are not affiliated with either major political party. Among voters who describe themselves as conservative 42 percent say they would like to see McCarthy remain as House GOP leader compared to 39 percent who want House Republicans to pick a new leader, Rasmussen Reports said.

“Women voters have more negative views of GOP congressional leaders than do men. Only 24% of women voters have a favorable opinion of McConnell, compared to 33% of men,” the firm added. “Similarly, 41% of men but just 33% of women voters have a favorable view of McCarthy. Men are more in favor of keeping McCarthy as leader of House Republicans, but men and women voters are equally agreed (61%) that Senate Republicans should choose a new leader.”


The disdain for McConnell is multi-ethnic, though he has fallen out of favor more with white voters.

“McConnell is viewed unfavorably by 68% of whites, 58% of black voters and 52% of other minorities. McCarthy is viewed unfavorably by 48% of both white and black voters, and 36% of other minorities. Majorities of every racial category – 61% of whites, 55% of black voters and 64% of other minorities – think Senate Republicans should choose a new leader. Fifty percent (50%) of black voters think House Republicans should choose a new leader, as do 47% of whites and 43% of other minorities,” the polling firm reported.

Prior to their being selected to leadership positions once again, both McConnell and McCarthy faced pushback from Senate and House Republican factions.

A letter asking to postpone leadership elections was circulated among members by some high-profile GOP senators, for instance, including Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Mike Lee of Utah, and Rick Scott of Florida, Politico reported.

“We need to have serious discussions within our conference as to why and what we can do to improve our chances in 2024,” the letter said. “Holding leadership elections without hearing from the candidates as to how they will perform their leadership duties and before we know whether we will be in the majority or even who all our members are violating the most basic principles of a democratic process. It is certainly not the way leadership elections should be conducted in the world’s greatest deliberative body.”