In the wake of Election Day 2016, optimism was high among Republican voters.
President Donald Trump’s surprising victory was the main driver of that line of thinking, and the fact that the GOP walked away with a majority in the House and Senate was the icing on the cake.
All signs pointed to the Trump administration hitting the ground running to implement the agenda that American voters preferred.
Fast forward to today, and we’re still waiting. Optimism remains strong, but it’s tempered by the fact that business as usual continues to rule the day on Capitol Hill.
Despite having the majority, Republican leadership is still allowing itself to be bullied around by Democrats with the loudest voices. What’s more, the GOP can’t even seem to align members of the party to present a unified front.
The best example of that is the ongoing debacle that is the repeal and replacement of Obamacare. Republicans remain unable to push the ball over the goal line, in spite of the open lanes they have to pound the rock in.
This is not going unnoticed by American voters. Approval ratings for Congress as a whole are in the tank.
For example, the turnaround in House Speaker Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) approval ratings have been nothing short of stunning. Breitbart passes along the scoop on that.
A whopping 48 percent—nearly a majority—view Ryan in a negative light, while just 36 percent view him in a positive light in the Bloomberg poll released Tuesday. The poll was conducted from July 8 to July 12 and represents a near mirror flip from Ryan’s standing back in December when 47 percent looked at him positively and 31 percent viewed him negatively.
While Trump’s approval ratings get all the headlines from the mainstream media, voters view on Ryan receives little play. Ryan would be wise not to mistake that lack of coverage as a sign that he’s somehow flying under the radar while Congress accomplishes nothing of substance.
It’s a dramatic turn for one of the Republican Party’s biggest stars and its 2012 vice presidential nominee. The approval rating decline for Ryan is the largest among GOP leaders measured by the Bloomberg survey — and exceeds the drop in approval for the party, Congress and Trump.
Midterm elections will be here before we know it. Those elections will be spun as a referendum on Trump, but Republican leadership should not lose sight of the fact that it’s really a referendum on them.
American voters are much more in tune with what’s going on in the nation’s capital than they are given credit for.
That should scare the daylights out of Ryan and GOP leadership, as there’s no spinning the blatant fumbling they’re clearly responsible for.
Speaker Ryan is going to be thinking long and hard about leading Congress and even representing his district after his dismal track record – God knows a majority of the nation wishes he would quietly retire and let someone who knows what they’re doing get to work for America.