With two declared challengers and a growing list of House members opposed to his leadership, public opinion is building against Speaker John Boehner (R-OH). The latest PPD Poll of 500 likely Republican voters finds 65 percent say they want their representative to bolt on Boehner when the House votes for speaker this week, while just 26 percent support their representative backing him.
Interestingly, just 24 percent of Republican voters have a favorable opinion of the Ohio congressman, two points below the number supporting his candidacy to keep the gavel. Similarly, 61 percent view the Ohio Republican unfavorably, or 4 points less than the percentage of GOP voters who support a move to replace him. While only 14 percent have a “very favorable” opinion of Boehner, 32 percent say they have a “very unfavorable” opinion of him.
Conventional wisdom dictates that Boehner appears to be on track to garner the votes needed to avoid a second ballot, despite the fact he can afford to lose only 29 votes. The task of overthrowing Boehner, or any speaker for that matter, is a very tall order, indeed. In fact, it has not happened since 1923, when Frederick Gillette, a Republican from Massachusetts, took nine ballots to win re-election as speaker.
However, it is also true that Republicans have their largest majority since the 1920s, and if actual Republican voters had their way, then his days as speaker would most assuredly be numbered.
Top Reasons Republicans Support Replacing Boehner:
1. Broke his promise to fight Obama’s immigration/amnesty order “tooth and nail” (25 percent)
2. Hasn’t done enough to stop ObamaCare (19 percent)
3. Cares more about corporate welfare than the general welfare of working class Americans (15 percent)
Reps. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., and Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, announced over the weekend — Saturday and Sunday, respectively — that they would challenge Boehner for the position. Even though the PPD Poll did not ask respondents who they would like to see their representative back for speaker, PPD found increased support for the opposition in Sunday’s respondents juxtaposed to those surveyed on Saturday. That’s not to say Republican voters back Gohmert over Yoho, however. It likely reflects an observed increased awareness to the movement rather than some other factor.
PPD has confirmed nine members have declared their opposition to Boehner. The list includes Reps. Jim Bridenstine, R-Okla., Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., Steve King, R-Iowa, Dave Brat, R-Va., Marlin Stutzman, R- Ind., Water Jones, R-N.C., Thomas Massie, R-Ky, as well as Yoho and Gohmert.
Worth noting, one of the members on the list above — Rep. Dave Brat, R-Va. — defeated Boehner’s number two in an upset primary victory in 2014. Even if Boehner survives the insurgency, there are two noteworthy similarities regarding both Boehner and former Majority Leader Eric Cantor. First, illegal immigration played a major role in the public’s negative opinion of both men. Second, Boehner clearly lost something Cantor also found out he had lost, albeit too late — the public’s trust and support.
The PPD Poll of 500 likely Republican voters was conducted from January 3 – 4, 2015, and has a MoE of +/- 3 percentage points with a 95 percent level of confidence. Interviewers surveyed respondents, the results of which are weighted to reflect a breakdown of 50 percent landlines and 50 percent cellphones.