Only 1 percent of Republicans favored Mike Johnson for Speaker ahead of election: poll

Only 1 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents favored newly-elected Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) as the person for the job in the days that led up to his election, according to a new poll.

An Economist/YouGov poll taken last Saturday through Tuesday found Johnson received only 1 percent of support from Republicans and independents who lean Republican, while Rep Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), who failed on the Speaker’s ballot three times last week, clinched the most support with 23 percent.

Former President Trump received the second highest amount of support with 15 percent, while former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who was booted from the top spot earlier this month, had 6 percent support. Trump’s name was floated by a few Republican lawmakers shortly after McCarthy’s ouster, though such a bid did not come to fruition.

Johnson does not have a huge national profile, and his low standing in the poll is likely reflective of the fact that many Republicans across the country do not know him. He is serving his second term as vice chair of the House Republican Conference and was first elected to the House in 2016.

About five percent of those polled said they favored House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.), who initially clinched the first GOP Speakership nomination after McCarthy’s ouster but dropped out a day later when it became apparent he could not shore up the 217 votes needed.

Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.), who dropped out during voting for the GOP’s third Speaker nominee, had 4 percent support, while Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), who was serving as acting Speaker but did not enter the race himself, had 3 percent.

The election of Johnson capped off a tumultuous set of weeks in the lower chamber as the Republican conference wrangled with infighting and struggled to coalesce support around one candidate.

Johnson was the GOP conference’s fourth Speaker nominee since eight Republicans joined all House Democrats to oust McCarthy over three weeks ago.

The House was thrown into essentially a state of paralysis as a result, unable to carry out its normal functions without an elected Speaker.

The Eocnomist/YouGov poll found support for McCarthy’s ouster dropped as the Speaker vacancy dragged on. The most recent poll found 45 percent of Republicans disapproved of McCarthy’s ouster while 25 percent approved. Two weeks ago, Republicans were more evenly divided on the issue, YouGov said.

The poll surveyed 1,500 U.S. adults from Oct. 21-24. The margin of error was 3.1 percent.

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