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Nearly half of Americans support Kevin McCarthy’s removal: Poll

Almost half of U.S. adults support or strongly support the ousting of Congressman Kevin McCarthy from the House speaker’s chair, according to a poll conducted Wednesday by YouGov.

The Republican from California made history as the first speaker to be removed by the House of Representatives, in a 216-210 vote Tuesday. Eight of McCarthy’s GOP colleagues joined with all House Democrats in attendance to oust the former majority leader.

According to the 1,913 adults surveyed by YouGov, 46 percent of American voters agree that McCarthy should have been ousted. Around 28 percent responded that they either disapproved or strongly disapproved of removing the former speaker.

The results did not vary much across political parties. Over half of Democrats (55 percent) said they supported or strongly supported removing McCarthy, compared to 45 percent of Republican respondents. In the most recent weekly Economist/YouGov poll, which concluded just before the House voted on McCarthy, only 26 percent of 1,500 voters said they had a favorable or very favorable view of the former speaker.

According to YouGov’s previous findings, McCarthy’s popularity among U.S. voters dipped during his roughly eight months as speaker. In the week prior to McCarthy being selected as speaker in January, roughly 32 percent of 1,500 American adults said they viewed him favorable or very favorable.

McCarthy had faced criticism from some far-right members of the GOP caucus for months prior to his ousting, which was prompted by Florida Representative Matt Gaetz in a motion to vacate filed Monday. Republican lawmakers who supported the motion said their decision was made based on McCarthy’s failure to deliver on a number of conservative policies.

During a press conference Tuesday night, McCarthy announced that he would not be running for speaker again, leaving the GOP without a clear leader ahead of next week when the House intends to reconvene to vote on the next speaker.

McCarthy also attacked the “trustworthiness” of the Republicans who voted against him, claiming the eight lawmakers are “not conservatives and they do not have the right to have the title.”

“You all know Matt Gaetz,” McCarty added. “You know it was personal … everything he accused somebody of, he was doing. That all was about getting attention from [the press].”

A separate YouGov poll conducted on Wednesday found that 47 percent of Americans believe that the Republicans who voted to oust McCarthy were motivated more by a “desire to seek more power for themselves” than having concerns about McCarthy’s performance.

Alex Patton, Republican strategist, previously told Newsweek that the motion to vacate was a smart move on Gaetz’s part should the congressman want to pursue a political office with more influence.

“Gaetz just became the early frontrunner for Florida’s Governor’s race in two years,” Patton added.

Newsweek reached out to McCarthy and Gaetz’s offices via email for comment Wednesday evening.

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