GOP voters turn against McConnell
Gallup polling reveals that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConell has lost the support he once enjoyed from GOP voters:
Republicans are more likely to have an unfavorable opinion (35%) of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell than a favorable one (30%). Just 18 months ago, Republicans were twice as likely to view him positively (47%) as negatively (23%). (snip)
Republicans viewed McConnell favorably from 2010 — three years after he became the party’s Senate leader — through 2014. During his time as minority leader, his favorable ratings were generally near 50% and his unfavorable ratings near 20%.
The CNBC debate fiasco has gotten Reince Priebus huffing and puffing and “suspending” the future NBC debate in an effort to placate angry Republicans, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell faces a revolt of his own and is unlikely to concede anything. Only if rebels like Ted Cruz and Mike Lee start garnering support from other GOP senators is there any possibility of influencing McConnell, and honestly, that is not likely.
The mental model used by the GOP establishment for decades has been to take for granted the support of the base and “reach out” to independents. In practice, this means liberal Republicanism of the Rockefeller variety. Ronald Reagan was an insurgent who could not win in the eyes of the then-establishment GOP. They preferred Nelson Rockefeller for his so-called ability to cast a wider net of support. The idea that real conservative solutions have greater appeal than wishy-washy liberalism-lite makes no sense to them. After all, nobody at the cocktail parties they attend believes that.