Republican aides are reeling from the implosion of their party’s attempt to repeal President Barack Obama’s health care law, according to the latest CQ Roll Call Capitol Insiders Survey.
Paul D. Ryan’s approval rating among House GOP staffers has dropped to its lowest level since he became speaker in 2015, plummeting from 85 percent three weeks after Election Day to 44 percent in March. Those are levels not seen — for either party’s congressional leaders — since the ouster of Ryan’s predecessor, John A. Boehner of Ohio, a year and a half ago.
The Republican aides who took the poll are also fretting about the electoral impact of the failure to repeal the 2010 health care law. Two-thirds of them think it will help the Democrats in the 2018 election if they are unable to repeal the law, while only 10 percent think Republicans would be best served by leaving the law in place.
“People expected Republicans would get this done and the failure to do so just doesn’t look good,” said Michael Steel, a former spokesman for Boehner who’s now a managing director at Hamilton Place Strategies, a political consulting firm.
CQ Roll Call emailed staffers the poll on March 23 and gave them until March 30 to respond. Of the 132 who did, 64 were Republicans, 66 Democrats and two independents.