Ditch Mitch? Most GOP Voters Want to Replace McConnell

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Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Republican congressional leaders remain unpopular, even with their own party’s voters, who overwhelmingly want to get rid of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

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. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

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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.

California Rep. Kevin McCarthy, in line to become Speaker of the House after this year’s midterm elections, is somewhat more popular than McConnell. 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.

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(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it’s in the news, it’s in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

The survey of 1,000 U.S. Likely Voters was conducted on November 20-21, 2022 by Rasmussen Reports and Paul Bedard’s “Washington Secrets.” 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. See methodology.

By a 16-point margin, more Likely Voters think House Republicans should choose a new leader (47%) than keep McCarthy (31%). However, unlike McConnell on the Senate site, more Republicans are against ditching McCarthy. Forty-six percent (46%) of GOP voters think House Republicans should keep McCarthy as leader while 38% want a new leader. A majority of Democrats (56%) want to get rid of McCarthy as House Republican leader, as do 46% of unaffiliated voters. Among voters who identify as conservative, 42% favor keeping McCarthy, while 39% want new leadership for House Republicans. 

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. 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.

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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.

A majority (53%) of voters under 40 think Senate Republicans should “ditch Mitch,” as do nearly two-thirds of older voters.

Fifty-nine percent (59%) of voters who think Senate Republicans should choose a new leader also believe House Republicans should do the same.

President Joe Biden’s strongest supporters are less hostile to McConnell’s leadership than other voters. Among those who Strongly Approve of Biden’s job performance as president, 51% want Senate Republicans to choose a new leader, compared to 69% of voters who Strongly Disapprove of Biden’s performance. The situation is reversed for McCarthy. Sixty percent (60%) of voters who Strongly Approve of Biden’s performance want House Republicans to choose a new leader, compared to 38% of voters who Strongly Disapprove of the president’s job performance.

Voters overwhelmingly agree with Nancy Pelosi’s decision to step down from her position as leader of the Democrats in the House of Representatives.

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Most voters are content with the results of the midterm elections, but are divided over why Republicans fell short of their “red wave” expectations.

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to the public as well as to Platinum Members.

Please sign up for the Rasmussen Reports daily e-mail update (it’s free) or follow us on Facebook. Let us keep you up to date with the latest public opinion news.

The survey of 1,000 U.S. Likely Voters was conducted on November 20-21 2022 by Rasmussen Reports and Paul Bedard’s “Washington Secrets.” 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. See methodology.

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