When House Speaker Kevin McCarthy was asked Wednesday what he learned from his debt default negotiations with the White House, he said that going forward, if Republicans stick together they will be able to "eliminate the wokeism ... eliminate the waste" in spending.
McCarthy's response to conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt is the latest example of how the goals of congressional Republicans register among voters who aren't thoroughly steeped in the culture of MAGA grievance.
Not only do most Americans view the term "woke" in a positive light, but new polling from the progressive consortium Navigator Research also reveals the increasingly dismal view voters have of House Republicans, their priorities, and the job they are doing for the American people.
The survey asked 1,500 likely voters in 61 battleground districts about the performance of their specific member by name. Democratic incumbents as a group came out 6 points above water, with 39% rating their performance positively, 33% negatively, and 28% saying they didn't know.
That may not seem overwhelmingly positive at first blush, but Republican members who represent Biden districts and Trump districts fared far worse. GOP representatives in Biden districts were 5 points underwater (30% positive-35% negative), and Republicans in Trump districts tested poorest of all the groups at 9 points underwater (34% positive-43% negative).
That's a five-alarm fire right there for a majority that can't lose more than a handful of seats next year. Even on "the economy," Democrats tested better than Republicans. Although Democratic incumbents were 6 points underwater, Republicans in Biden districts were 10 points underwater, while those in Trump districts were 13 points underwater.
By 19 points, voters across these 61 battleground districts say the House Republican majority has "prioritized the wrong things," 34% right things-53% wrong things.
But perhaps most damning for the House Republicans: GOP members in Biden districts are also 19 points underwater on the priorities question, 35% right things-54% wrong things.
The Republican majority performs even worse when voters are asked if it has focused more on "economic issues" or "non-economic issues." Across districts, Republicans are net -26 points, with just 29% saying they're focused on the economy while 55% saying they're focused on non-economic issues. Republicans in Biden districts are similarly 25 points underwater.
The negative assessments of Republicans' job performance and issue focus culminates in a question revealing that voters across these battleground districts don't believe GOP incumbents care about people like them, or share their values and priorities.
Asked whether their representative cares about people like them: Democratic incumbents are 3 points underwater, but Republican incumbents in both Biden and Trump districts are 15 points underwater.
Asked if their member shares their priorities: Democrats are net -2, while Biden-district Republicans are net -16, and Trump-district Republicans are net -15. A question about their member sharing their values drew very similar results: Democrats -4, Biden-district Republicans -15, and Trump-district Republicans -17.
These findings add yet more evidence to a pile of data suggesting congressional Republicans could be facing a very tough cycle, particularly as they continue to prioritize anti-woke rhetoric and advance wholly irrelevant conspiracy-based investigations for the remainder of the 118th Congress.
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We have Rural Organizing’s Aftyn Behn. Markos and Aftyn talk about what has been happening in rural communities across the country and progressives’ efforts to engage those voters. Behn also gives the podcast a breakdown of which issues will make the difference in the coming elections.