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Should the next House speaker work across the aisle? Be loyal to Trump?

The American public wants a House speaker who will work across the aisle and try to cut spending, but who won't try to either shut down the government or impeach Joe Biden. And many outside the GOP want the next speaker to be one who'll "stand up to MAGA." 

But it's not clear the public will get all that, of course. Most Republicans, whose party essentially gets to choose, want a speaker who will try to impeach Biden and one who'll be loyal to Donald Trump. 

Plus, the "MAGA" Republicans who comprise a sizable part of the GOP have a different wishlist: they want a speaker who is of their "MAGA" movement and don't want someone who'll compromise with Democrats, which sets them apart within their party, too.


Half the Republican rank-and-file want a new speaker who aligns with "MAGA" — and that desire rises to 85% among Republicans who consider themselves part of that movement. (Which four in 10 do.)  


And most rank-and-file Republicans want a new speaker specifically loyal to Donald Trump — a desire that is much greater among "MAGA" movement Republicans.


Then, three-quarters of the nation's Republicans want the next speaker to try to impeach Joe Biden — and that sets them dramatically apart from non-Republicans, who are far less likely to want that.


That's looking forward. But last week's events divided the Republican rank-and-file, too, between those approving of Kevin McCarthy's ouster because they believed him ineffective, and because they thought he worked with Democrats — set opposite those Republicans who disapproved of the ouster, often because they think this will now disrupt Washington. 

Overall, McCarthy's removal does find majority approval across party lines, with that perceived ineffectiveness as a common complaint among them. That said, partisans might have very different ideas of what constitutes being effective. Democrats, for their part, thought he paid too much attention to "MAGA."


For those Republicans approving, it was mainly about a perception that McCarthy was not effective, along with many wanting to punish him for working across the aisle.


Meanwhile for Republicans who disapprove of the removal, there's some appreciation for preventing a government shutdown as well as concern that this will now disrupt Washington.


Will it all matter, though? Although people do voice worry about it all, they don't immediately see implications for the country either way. Perhaps that's tied up in those feelings of ineffectiveness, or waiting to see what happens next, or maybe a just reflection on the long-standing negativity toward the parties more generally.


Neither party elicits positive views;  something that has been the case for years, in part because partisans have such highly unfavorable views of the opposing party and independents view both parties unfavorably. Favorable views of the Republican Party generally are just below those of the Democrats.


This CBS News/YouGov survey was conducted with a nationally representative sample of 2,155 U.S. adult residents interviewed between October 4-6, 2023. The sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the U.S. Census American Community Survey and Current Population Survey, as well as past vote. The margin of error is ±2.9 points.


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