Sixty percent of Republican voters would prefer that John Boehner not be elected speaker of the House next week, according to a new poll moving around conservative circles Friday.
The poll — conducted by Caddell Associates and commissioned by the People’s Poll — shows just 25 percent of Republicans supporting Boehner’s re-election in the formal vote on the House floor.
Fifteen-percent of those polled said they don’t know or are undecided about Boehner. The poll surveyed 602 Republican voters and independents who lean Republican and voted GOP in 2014.
The official speaker’s election is set for Jan. 6, when the House will convene for a public floor vote to open the new Congress.
While the vote is usually just a formality, some conservative lawmakers are planning to vote for someone other than the Ohio Republican, who has been speaker since 2011.
“Right now, I’ve been meeting with a small group, and we — about 16, 18 — and we’re hoping to have a name of a sitting member of Congress that we can call out their name,” North Carolina Rep. Walter Jones said in a recent radio interview.
The hope of the anti-Boehner bloc is for enough Republicans to deny Boehner a majority of the vote, which would cause him to drop out of the race. That would require about 30 Republicans voting for someone else.
But ousting Boehner is seen as a long shot endeavor: the GOP conference already agreed behind closed doors to support Boehner, there’s no clear alternative to challenge him and the public nature of the vote can intimidate those inclined to support someone else.
Meanwhile, Boehner’s office is confident he will be re-elected.
“Rep. Boehner was selected as the House Republican Conference’s choice for Speaker last month,” Boehner aide Michael Steel told The Daily Caller earlier this week, “and he expects to be elected by the whole House next week.”