Empower Wisconsin | Jan. 5, 2023
By M.D. Kittle
MADISON — Ronna McDaniel seems to be riding in the same political carpool as Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy. The establishment candidates are struggling to navigate through an intraparty brawl that’s leaving the Grand Old Party badly bruised.
For McCarthy, it’s a battle against 20 renegade conservatives blocking his bid for Speaker of the House. With a narrow majority, McCarthy needs all but four of the dissenters to back him, and in a historic second day of balloting the California Republican was getting no closer to the finish line in vote after vote. By the sixth and inconclusive ballot the House adjourned for a second straight day to start fresh on Thursday.
McDaniel, the embattled chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, has seen her support for a fourth term dwindle among her fellow party members.
A new poll by Convention of States Action found less than 6 percent of Republicans want McDaniel to lead the party moving forward. The poll of nearly 1,100 GOP voters, conducted late last month by renown pollster The Trafalgar Group, found 73.5 percent of respondents want the party to elect a new chairperson.
The RNC’s 168 members will vote to elect a chair later this month at its annual meeting in Dana Point, Calif.
McDaniel, niece of U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), is facing a challenge from Harmeet Dhillon, who previously served as attorney for former President Donald Trump in lawsuits tied to the 2020 election. Dhillon is a Republican National Committee member from California. But McDaniel reportedly has the backing of a majority of RNC members, and she, like Trump, is calling on dissident Republicans to get behind McCarthy.
“As long as we’re fighting each other, we are not keeping our eye on the prize,” McDaniel said on Fox News’ “America Reports.” “I think we have to get the speakership settled and we have to go forward if we’re going to be successful in 2024 as a united party. And right now, this exemplifies exactly what the Democrats want to see from our party.”
The Convention of States poll, however, suggests growing disaffection with party establishment.
Nearly two-thirds (63%) said the GOP and its congressional leadership were ineffective in getting Republicans elected in November’s midterms. Another 36 percent said the Republican Party was effective, and 1 percent didn’t know. Many anticipated a “red wave” following two years of a very unpopular Democrat Joe Biden at the presidential helm.
Meanwhile, 68 percent of respondents said the RNC wasn’t effective in electing Republicans, and 44 percent of Republican voters said they are less willing to donate money to the Republican Party or GOP candidates after the results of the 2022 elections.
“Republican voters are furious about the failure of their party to deliver results in 2022–especially given the disastrous mismanagement of the country by the Biden Administration and their allies in Congress,” said Mark Meckler, president of Convention of States Action. “Voters believe the only way to hold the GOP accountable for its failures is to make way for new leadership.”