Poll Numbers Dipping as Johnson Struggles in House

 May 2, 2024

Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) was the surprise winner of the Speaker election after Speaker Emeritus Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was ousted from office.

Now, however, Johnson’s numbers and those of Republicans in the House in general are dipping, which is likely to cost the GOP the House in November.

Talking Points…
- Johnson losing faith
- Polling showing bad signs for election
- Analysis

Members Losing Faith in Johnson

Johnson was given a rather long rope when he first won the speakership. Most members knew he did not really want the job, and it wound up being a concession from all factions after Rep. Scalise (R-LA) and Rep. Jordan (R-OH) failed to win the support of the full chamber. His first session was more or less given a pass because of the circumstances and the need to get legislation moving.

When they returned from that first recess, however, Johnson was put on notice by several members, most notably Rep. Roy (R-TX), who has openly opposed legislation passed by Johnson, and Rep. Greene (R-GA), who eventually filed a motion to vacate against Johnson.

The two biggest issues were that Johnson appeared to be going back to business as usual in the House, especially when it came to presenting legislation late so members did not have the agreed-upon 72 hours to review the bills before voting on them. Second, legislation that Johnson was flooring was getting more support from Democrats than Republicans when it came time to vote.

Since then, Greene has promised to floor her vote, and she now has several members of the GOP caucus that will back her move. What may be more damaging to Johnson than that is Democrat leadership stepping up to support Johnson and vowing to block the motion to vacate if and when Greene forces a vote on the matter.

Polling Not a Good Sign for Johnson or House GOP Members

Recent polling does not look good for Johnson in terms of overall support among Republicans. And let’s be honest, he was not exactly popular when he won the gavel. The only people who really knew about him at the time were hardcore politicos, which is only a small percentage of voters. For everyone else, this was getting to know Johnson while he was getting his on-the-job training.

Even so, Johnson was getting the benefit of Trump’s support after he won, so he was hovering around 50% approval after he won the gavel, but he has been going in the wrong direction ever since. For instance, in the latest set of surveys from Economist/YouGov, we have seen a steady decline in approval, falling from 50% to only 26% approval.

One of the biggest hits that Johnson took was for passing the Ukraine aid legislation that did not include the promised border security package. Johnson defended the legislation as the right thing to do, but GOP voters are getting sick and tired of the lack of backbone in GOP leadership. Even among Trump supporters, this has cost Johnson about 20% of his overall support.

It has gotten to the point that with the threat of Johnson’s removal, Democrat leadership has stepped up to say it will protect Johnson to ensure he is not removed as Speaker, suffering the same fate as McCarthy, which has only angered caucus members more and has conservatives wondering exactly who Johnson is working for right now. In response to the Democrat support, Johnson stated:

“Look, I have to do my job. We have to do what we believe to be the right thing. What the country needs right now is a functioning Congress. They need a Congress that works well, works together and does not hamper its own ability to solve these problems.

“So, we saw what happened with a motion to vacate the last time. Congress was closed for three weeks. No one can afford for that to happen. So we need people who are serious about the job here to continue to do that job and get it done. So I have to do what I believe is right every day and let the chips fall where they may.”


Realistically, Johnson does not have much leverage with such a razor-thin majority, but he has caved on just about every piece of legislation the Democrat-run Senate has put in front of him. He has failed to deliver on a single promise made after having won the gavel, and voters are starting to question the ability of Republicans to run the House. This could really hurt the GOP in battleground House elections, which would be an utter disaster regardless of how the presidential election turns out. It would either mean blocking Trump or turning the entire government over to Democrats. Either way, the conservative movement will continue to be put on hold while we try to find adults who can represent We the People in Congress.

About Jerry McConway

Jerry McConway is an independent political author and investigator who lives in Dallas, Texas. He has spent years building a strong following of readers who know that he will write what he believes is true, even if it means criticizing politicians his followers support. His readers have come to expect his integrity.

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