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New Poll: Conservatives Want Anybody But McCarthy For Speaker Of The House

A new survey of conservatives shows Reps. Jim Jordan and Steve Scalise as the leading candidates to replace outgoing House Speaker Paul Ryan. Ryan’s chosen successor, Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California, did not reach double digits according to a release posted on the GOPUSA website.

In the survey conducted among 455 members of GOPUSA’s “Survey Team,” respondents chose Jordan as the top choice with 27.3%. Scalise was a close second with 24.9%. Others breaking into double digits were Rep. Kevin McCarthyDevin Nunes with 13.9% and Rep. Louie Gohmert with 12.2%. Current House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy received only 7.2% backing from survey respondents.

This poll of the GOP’s grassroots base flies in the face of the desires of the Republican Party’s Capitol Hill oligarchy, who are already lining up behind House Majority Leader McCarthy.

"We all think Kevin is the right person to become speaker," RINO Speaker Paul Ryan said in an interview on NBC's Meet the Press. "I fully anticipate handing the gavel over to the next speaker of the House after this term, and I think Kevin's the right guy to step up."

Then again, maybe the McCarthy endorsement was all about Ryan (as things usually are with him) rather than about McCarthy.

Anointing a successor now could be an attempt to tamp down calls from some House Republicans who say Ryan should give up the speakership in the coming weeks and let his replacement take the reins early, rather than muddle through a distracting seven-month race to replace him wrote Bakersfield.com’s Sarah D. Wire.

Many Republicans see maintaining control of the House as their biggest concern, said Ms. Wire, a goal that could be more difficult amid an intra-party fight. Some also questioned whether Ryan would be able to sustain his massive fundraising efforts as a lame-duck speaker.

Ryan’s endorsement doesn’t mean that the race to replace him is close to over, noted Wire. McCarthy and his chief rival for the speakership, Majority Whip Steve Scalise, of Louisiana, have been quietly shoring up support for months.

Although Ryan asserted on “Meet the Press” that Scalise agrees McCarthy is the best choice to be the next speaker, Scalise hasn’t pulled his name from consideration, says Wire. He told reporters earlier this week that it’s too soon to endorse McCarthy. His office declined to comment Friday on Ryan’s endorsement.

Our question to Ryan and the rest of the musical chairs gang in the House “Leadership” is what’s changed since McCarthy was rejected by his colleagues the last time the Speaker’s job was open?

McCarthy initially sought the speakership in 2015 when then-Speaker John Boehner resigned. Rumblings from the conservative Freedom Caucus that he wasn’t conservative enough led McCarthy to withdraw his bid hours before his Republican colleagues were set to cast a vote. That prompted Ryan to reluctantly take the job.

Ms. Ware, writing for Kevin McCarthy’s home town media, says what’s changed is that in the three years since his first bid for Speaker was deflated, McCarthy has worked to shore up support for the job he’s long coveted, doing favors and campaign fundraisers for colleagues across the country, including for some of the same conservatives who kept him from becoming speaker in 2015. McCarthy is one of the most prolific fund-raisers for the national Republican Party and GOP candidates — raising $8.75 million so far this year.

Yet, with all those fundraisers and appearances across the country, among grassroots conservatives he’s in fifth place in a in campaign where two of those that polled better than he (Rep. Devin Nunes and Rep. Louie Gohmert) aren’t even in the race.

Here’s our take on why Kevin McCarthy does so poorly in this poll of grassroots conservatives: He’s spent a lot of time raising money and talking to Swamp-based donors and very little time getting out and selling conservative ideas. And the reason he doesn’t get out and sell conservative ideas is that he’s not a conservative.

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Speaker of the House

There is a possibility that McCarthy has been "educated" by Donald Trump and might be the best vehicle to push his agenda through the House.As one of his (ignored) constituents, I doubt he would be a Jim Comey by coming alongside POTUS only to set him up. Kevin is not a crook. His biggest constituency problem is a lazy, unresponsive staff.I'd be very comfortable with either Jordan or Scalise as Speaker. Given Kevin's "seasoning" with POTUS, it's a toss-up.