Exclusive — Poll: 50 Percent Of Americans Want New Senate Majority Leader, Someone Other Than Mitch McConnell

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) talks with reporters after the weekly Senate Republican policy luncheon at the U.S. Capitol July 21, 2015 in Washington, DC.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

A new poll from pollster Pat Caddell’s Caddell Associates provided exclusively to Breitbart News shows that at least half of likely voters want to see Republicans oust Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, in much the same way their contemporaries on the other side of Capitol Hill took down outgoing House Speaker John Boehner.

The poll of 506 likely voters—mostly Republicans but a handful of Democrats and many independents—found that a whopping 50 percent want “someone else” other than McConnell leading the U.S. Senate.

“Regarding congressional leadership, if there was a chance to have a new election for Senate Majority Leader this fall, would you want Mitch McConnell elected as majority leader or would you like to see someone else elected?” the voters were asked.

Fifty percent selected “someone else”—with 34.8 percent saying they “probably” want someone else, and 15.2 percent saying they “definitely” want someone else—while only 23.7 percent said they want McConnell to stay in power. Of that 23.7 percent, 18.6 percent said they’d “probably” want McConnell to stay. Only 5 percent say they “definitely” want McConnell to stay as the U.S. Senate Majority Leader. A total of 26.3 percent said they didn’t know when asked to choose between McConnell and someone else.

Of those polled, 63.5 percent were Republicans, 6.4 percent were Democrats, and 30.2 percent identified as independents or as “other.”

What’s interesting here is that McConnell’s numbers are as bad as they are for him this early in a looming battle with conservatives.

Just seven percent less of the public wants him gone than wanted Boehner gone when only one GOP member of the Senate—Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)—has had the courage to criticize McConnell by name, when in contrast “Boehner” was a dirty word all over the House GOP conference for at least three years. Boehner was forced to resign because enough members of his own party wanted to get rid of him and had agreed to vote for a measure, introduced by Rep. Mark Meadows, to oust him. That motion to “vacate the chair” came after two previous, very public, failed coup attempts and building momentum against Boehner over the past nearly three years.

“Speaker Boehner resigned because he was hurting the Republican Party and was about to be fired by his own colleagues. Senator McConnell has a worse image with American voters and should follow Boehner’s example and step down now for the good of the party and the country,” Senate Conservatives Fund (SCF) president Ken Cuccinelli, the former Attorney General of Virginia, told Breitbart News when asked for his reaction to the polling data.

Americans want principled Republican leadership in Washington that will stand up to President Obama, not surrender. The next Speaker of the House should be someone who is willing to fight for the principles of freedom that make America great. The next Speaker should be someone who keeps the promises made by the party during past elections, not another false prophet that pledges to fight after the election, but then surrenders.

With SCF and more conservatives like 2016 presidential candidate Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and longtime Republican National Committee (RNC) member Louisiana GOP chairman Roger Villere calling for McConnell’s resignation, things may be about to heat up in Congress’ upper chamber. Former President Ronald Reagan’s Political Action Committee (PAC), Citizens for the Republic, has also called for McConnell to resign.

This Caddell polling, which was conducted before Boehner announced his forthcoming resignation, found that 57.1 percent those polled wanted “someone new,” other than Boehner, as Speaker of the House.

“Regarding Congressional Leadership, if there was a chance to have a new election for speaker of the house this fall, would you want John Boehner elected as Speaker of the House or would you like to see someone new elected?” respondents were asked.

Of the 57.1 percent who said they wanted “someone new,” 33 percent said “probably” and 24.1 percent said “definitely.” Twenty percent said they didn’t know if they wanted Boehner or someone new, while only 22.9 percent said they wanted Boehner to stay. Of that 22.9 percent, only 4.4 percent said “definitely” that they wanted Boehner and 18.5 percent said “probably.”

Even more Americans said they supported Meadows’ effort to remove Boehner as Speaker of the House.

“Some Republican members in the House are so unhappy with John Boehner’s leadership that they have proposed to remove him as Speaker of the House and force a new election for Speaker. Do you support or oppose this?” those polled were asked.

A whopping 60.5 percent said they supported the move, broken down between 23.7 percent strongly supporting it and 36.8 percent somewhat supporting it, while just 20.7 percent said they opposed it. Of that 20.7 percent who opposed the move to remove Boehner, 17.4 percent just somewhat opposed it and just 3.3 percent strongly opposed it. A total of 18.8 percent didn’t know.

In a polling memo from Caddell also provided exclusively to Breitbart News, the pollster noted that he believes Boehner “made a wise decision” to step down to avoid being voted out of the position.

“Given the results of the Republican Leadership poll, John Boehner made a wise decision when he resigned as Speaker of the House on Friday,” Caddell said.

Our poll finished a few days before, discovered an overwhelming majority who wanted to elect someone else as Speaker, and even larger numbers who supported removing him from the Speakership. Indeed, the Republican voting base, including the Independents who voted to elect Republicans last November, had a very negative and dismal reaction to what the Republicans have accomplished on Capitol Hill. More importantly their disenchantment runs deep and clearly is at odds with what is the thinking and conduct of the Republican establishment.

The polling also showed that Americans don’t believe GOP leadership—despite McConnell’s and Boehner’s claims they are “governing” by working with Democrats to pass legislation that President Obama keeps signing into law—should be continually surrendering on efforts to defund entirely unacceptable things Congress keeps paying for.

Only 23.7 percent said they believe “the leadership of the Republican Congress has done well and proven that they can govern effectively,” while 64 percent answered “I am disappointed with the performance of the Republican leadership in Congress, they are not living up to their promises on issues like immigration and Obamacare, upon which they were elected” and 12.3 percent didn’t know, when given the choice between those statements.


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