News & Politics

A Significant Majority of Republican Voters Agree With the GOP Rebels

A Significant Majority of Republican Voters Agree With the GOP Rebels
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

The Republican establishment that still believes they can manage voters’ expectations to maintain the status quo may want to do a reality check. The base had high expectations in 2022, and the elections did not meet those expectations. Many voters suspect that at least some establishment Republicans put a greater emphasis on ensuring that candidates tied to President Trump did not win than on winning back the Senate and a more significant majority in the House.

Then, the GOP members they did manage to elect voted to keep the wildly unpopular Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) as Senate Republican Leader. Then, with a RealClearPolitics average favorability rating of -33%, McConnell turned around and betrayed Republican voters by helping Democrats pass a $1.7 trillion Omnibus package along with 17 of his colleagues.

No one should be surprised that Republican voters are fed up. They organized the Tea Party and elected candidates who promised fiscal responsibility. When that did not work, they elected a reality television star as president. Yet the incumbents in Washington still don’t learn. So while CNN wrings its hands about Republican chaos and Karl Rove lectures the Freedom Caucus on TV, voters want change and are getting ready to close their wallets.

“Republican voters are furious about the failure of their party to deliver results in 2022 — especially given the disastrous mismanagement of the country by the Biden Administration and their allies in Congress. Voters believe the only way to hold the GOP accountable for its failures is to make way for new leadership,” says Mark Meckler, President of the Convention of States.

A new poll from his organization in partnership with the Trafalgar Group supports Meckler’s thesis. They are angry at the Republican Party and Congressional leadership, and more than 60% feel that party leadership was ineffective at getting GOP candidates elected. About one-third see the groups as somewhat effective, while another third see them as very ineffective. Only 8.2% think the party and congressional leaders were very effective during the 2022 cycle.

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An even bigger majority of respondents want to replace Ronna McDaniel as Chair of the Republican National Committee (RNC). Only 5.6% of GOP voters said they want her to stay, while 73.5% want her replaced. This trends very closely with the 68% who believe the RNC was ineffective in getting Republican candidates elected in the 2022 midterm. Less than one in three think the RNC did an adequate job. Almost one in four say the party was very ineffective.

“Grassroots activists have known for a long time that GOP leadership in Congress and at the RNC aren’t focused on fighting for conservative principles, or even winning a majority, but rather keeping themselves in power and funding the permanent political consultant class,” said Meckler.

In similar numbers, Republican voters seem willing to use their wallets to make a point. A 44% plurality say they are less inclined to donate money to the Republican Party or Republican candidates after 2022. This could be due to the well-publicized accusation that Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell pulled funds from disfavored candidates while diverting dollars to incumbent Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who is also wildly unpopular with the Republican base.

The same plurality of voters indicated that they are willing to donate to conservative grassroots groups that are effective at organizing rather than the Republican Party apparatus. Only 25% prefer to contribute to the party. This number may include people who choose to donate directly to candidates they support since a previous question grouped the party and Republican candidates together. One-third say they don’t know, which means there is a large segment of persuadable Republicans.

“Ultimately, we need to stop playing Washington’s game by Washington’s rules. If Americans want to fix our broken government, we need to force change in the leadership of organizations who failed to deliver results, support grassroots organizations doing real work on the ground, and reign in the power of D.C. with an Article V Convention of States,” Meckler asserted.

The political realignment has been evident to anyone paying attention since Donald Trump rode down the escalator in 2015. Republicans will continue to ignore the Obama-Obama-Trump voter, the blue-collar voter, the parents, and the freedom voters at their peril. The recent Florida election results show that rejecting the status quo and delivering results for the people you represent is a winning strategy. Perhaps the GOP should try it.