Poll: Voters Unsure of Who Was to Blame for House Speakership Chaos

Rep. Richard Hudson, R-N.C., left, pulls Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Ala., back as they talk with
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

United States likely voters are unsure of who was to blame for the House speakership chaos that descended on the lower chamber last week, resulting in 15 rounds of voting until Republicans voted for Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) as House Speaker.

McCarthy ultimately clinched the speakership position over the weekend after days of negotiations with GOP holdouts, finally getting elected to the leadership position on the 15th ballot with 216 votes. About 20 GOP lawmakers voted against the California Republican throughout the week, but ultimately, many conceded, while a handful voted present in the final round of voting, including Reps. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Lauren Boebert (R-CO), Bob Good (R-VA), Matt Rosendale (R-MT), and Rep.-elect Eli Crane (R-AZ).

Some of the concessions negotiated between McCarthy and the GOP holdouts included lowering the threshold needed to force a vote on ousting a speaker from five to one, as well as including more House Freedom Caucus members on the House Rules Committee, among other things. 

While 65 percent of likely voters in the Rasmussen Reports survey considered the speakership delay at least somewhat serious, there appears to be division on who to blame. 

Thirty-nine percent blame McCarthy for the delay, and 39 percent blame the Republicans who voted against him. Another 22 percent remain unsure. 

Republicans, specifically, appear to be divided, as 42 percent blame McCarthy, compared to 41 percent who blame the GOP holdouts. Thirty-nine percent of Democrats blame the GOP holdouts, compared to 35 percent who blame McCarthy. Independents blame McCarthy by a four-point margin. 

The survey was taken January 5 and 8-9, 2023, among 900 likely U.S. voters and has a +/- 3 percent margin of error. 

On Tuesday, McCarthy celebrated House Republicans voting to repeal the Democrats’ “army of 87,000 IRS agents,” identifying the move as the “very first act of the new Congress”:

On Thursday, he highlighted some of the early accomplishments of the GOP-led House in the first five days:


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