• Polling

Congressional Republicans Mark Their Lowest Approval Rating Since Taking Control of the House

Thursday, October 19, 2023 By Gabriela Parra
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Poll: Republicans in Disarray

This Navigator Research report contains polling data on Americans’ latest perceptions of Republicans in Congress following the ousting of Kevin McCarthy as Speaker of the House, including favorability of prominent Congressional Republicans, what Americans have recently been hearing in the news about Republicans in Congress, and tracking on blame for a potential government shutdown this fall.

Seven in ten Americans disapprove of the way Republicans in Congress are handling their jobs.


For the first time, Republicans hold a net negative view of Republicans in Congress (net -4; 45 percent approve – 49 percent disapprove; a net negative 23-point shift since early September). Americans overall also disapprove of Republicans in Congress by a 43-point margin (26 percent approve – 69 percent disapprove), including over four in five Democrats (86 percent disapprove) and three in four independents (72 percent disapprove). Disapproval is equally high among moderate Americans (net -47; 22 percent approve – 69 percent disapprove) and among Republicans who describe themselves as not very conservative, Republicans in Congress have double-digit net negative ratings (net -17; 38 percent approve – 55 percent disapprove).

  • Favorability of prominent Republicans are all underwater, including former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (net -23; 23 percent favorable – 46 percent unfavorable), Matt Gaetz (net -25; 12 percent favorable – 37 percent unfavorable, while 51 percent of Americans are unfamiliar with him), Jim Jordan (net -7; 20 percent favorable – 27 percent unfavorable, while 53 percent are unfamiliar with him), and Steve Scalise (net -6; 20 percent favorable – 26 percent unfavorable, while 53 percent are unfamiliar with him). 
  • Nearly three in four Americans report having heard something negative about Republicans in Congress in the past few days (72 percent), with nearly half of Americans saying what they have heard has been mostly negative (47 percent). This includes nearly two in three Republicans (35 percent mostly negative, with an additional 29 percent saying they have heard an equal mix of positive and negative). Most cite “House” and “Speaker” when describing what negative news they have been hearing recently about Republicans in Congress.
Bar graph of polling data from Navigator Research. Title: Nearly Seven in Ten Disapprove of the Job Republicans in Congress Are Doing – Including a Plurality of Republicans
Bar graph of polling data from Navigator Research. Title: Key Republicans in the Speaker’s Race Are All Underwater
Bar graph of polling data from Navigator Research. Title: Nearly Three in Four Are Hearing Negative Information on Congressional GOP as Speaker Race Turmoil Dominates

A plurality of Americans continue to say Republicans are more to blame if the government shuts down this fall.


Currently, by 5 points, more Americans feel Republicans in Congress are more to blame if the government were to shut down this fall (31 percent Biden/Democrats – 36 percent Republicans, with an additional 27 percent who would blame both parties equally). The share who blame Republicans has increased in recent weeks: last month, blame split roughly evenly between Biden and Democrats (34 percent) and  Republicans in Congress (32 percent), which has shifted by a net 7 points toward Republicans. A majority of independents believe both parties are to blame (16 percent Biden/Democrats – 18 percent Republicans – 51 percent blame both parties equally). 

  • By a 58-point margin, a significant share of Americans feel a government shutdown would negatively impact their lives (net -58; 5 percent positive impact – 63 percent negative impact), similar to our findings in late September (net -56; 7 percent positive impact – 63 percent negative impact).
  • Fewer Americans already report having heard less about a potential government shutdown this fall compared to earlier this month (from 72 percent to 67 percent). Currently, three in ten Americans report having seen, read, or heard “a lot” about the potential shutdown (30 percent), down 7 points from just a week ago (37 percent).  
Bar graph of polling data from Navigator Research. Title: More Americans Still Would Blame GOP for a Shutdown
Bar graph of polling data from Navigator Research. Title: Awareness Around a Potential Government Shutdown Has Eroded Since Crisis Was Narrowly Averted
Bar graph of polling data from Navigator Research. Title: Three in Five Continue to Recognize Personal Negative Impact of a Potential Government Shutdown

Most Americans Support Legislation Protecting LGBTQ+ Americans from Discrimination

Polling data on LGBTQ+ issues in the United States, including support for adding sexual orientation and gender identity to anti-discrimination laws.

Most Americans Think the United States Is Not Doing Enough to Support Families

Polling data on the U.S. government’s support for families, including polling on government programs that aim to help families with children.

Most Impactful Congressional Accomplishments: Lowering Health Care Costs & Domestic Manufacturing

Poll data on how constituents perceive a variety of different policies passed by Congress in recent years and how they evaluate forward-looking goals and priorities of Democratic lawmakers in Congress.

About The Study

Global Strategy Group conducted public opinion surveys among a sample of 1,000 registered voters from October 12-October 16, 2023. 99 additional interviews were conducted among Hispanic voters. 74 additional interviews were conducted among Asian American and Pacific Islander voters. 100 additional interviews were conducted among African American voters. 100 additional interviews were conducted among independent voters. The survey was conducted online, recruiting respondents from an opt-in online panel vendor. Respondents were verified against a voter file and special care was taken to ensure the demographic composition of our sample matched that of the national registered voter population across a variety of demographic variables.

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About Navigator

In a world where the news cycle is the length of a tweet, our leaders often lack the real-time public-sentiment analysis to shape the best approaches to talking about the issues that matter the most. Navigator is designed to act as a consistent, flexible, responsive tool to inform policy debates by conducting research and reliable guidance to inform allies, elected leaders, and the press. Navigator is a project led by pollsters from Global Strategy Group and GBAO along with an advisory committee, including: Andrea Purse, progressive strategist; Arkadi Gerney, The Hub Project; Joel Payne, The Hub Project; Christina Reynolds, EMILY’s List; Delvone Michael, Working Families; Felicia Wong, Roosevelt Institute; Mike Podhorzer, AFL-CIO; Jesse Ferguson, progressive strategist; Navin Nayak, Center for American Progress Action Fund; Stephanie Valencia, EquisLabs; and Melanie Newman, Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

For press inquiries contact: press@navigatorresearch.org