Kevin McCarthy’s Approval Ratings Hit All Time High Amid Debt Ceiling Fight: POLL


Michael Ginsberg Congressional Correspondent
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Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy’s approval rating has reached an all-time high amid debt ceiling negotiations, according to a poll released Wednesday.

Forty-six percent of registered voters strongly or somewhat approve of McCarthy’s performance as speaker, The Economist and YouGov found, while 36% strongly or somewhat disapprove. The poll of 1,300 registered voters, conducted from May 13-16, has a margin of error of 3% either way. The numbers mark a 15-point net improvement for Speaker McCarthy since January, when he had a net negative-five percent approval rating, The Economist and YouGov found.

The same poll found that McCarthy has the highest net approval rating of any congressional leader among registered voters. House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries of New York holds a net nine percent approval rating. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York holds a net three percent approval rating, while Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky holds a net negative sixteen percent approval rating. (RELATED: The 11 Most Popular Governors Are All Republicans)

After a marathon 15-vote series that allowed McCarthy to capture the speaker’s gavel, some observers believed the House GOP would struggle to pass legislation. President Joe Biden repeatedly refused to negotiate on the debt ceiling with McCarthy, arguing that the lower chamber would be unable to pass a bill. The House passed the Limit, Save, and Grow Act on April 26, which would raise the debt limit through March 2024 by $1.5 trillion.

McCarthy expressed optimism about the debt ceiling negotiations on Thursday, telling reporters that he “see[s] the path that we can come to an agreement.” White House officials Louisa Terrell and Steve Richetti, and Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young are negotiating on behalf of Biden, while Louisiana Rep. Garret Graves is representing House Republicans in the ongoing talks. Negotiations are centered around permitting reform and work requirements for welfare.

“I think we have a structure now and everybody’s working hard. And I mean we’re working two or three times a day, then going back getting more numbers,” the speaker said.