McCarthy Approval Rating Surges

( — Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has seen his popularity surge. His approval rating is far higher than that of former Republican Speaker Paul Ryan. An Economist/YouGov poll published on March 15th shows McCarthy with an approval rating of 41%, up by 6 points from only a week earlier and 30 points ahead of Paul Ryan at the same point in his Speakership. Among Republicans, 63% view him favorably, while only 22% find him unfavorable.

His surge corresponds with his controversial decision to provide more than 42,000 hours of footage from inside the Capitol on January 6th, 2021, to Fox host Tucker Carlson. When asked their opinion on this, 42% of pollsters said they approved, while 38% said they did not.

McCarthy gave the footage to Carlson in February and was roundly condemned by Democrats for doing so. The Fox host has been accused of distorting and editing the recordings, but no examples of the apparent falsification have yet been forthcoming. Carlson has said that the government and mainstream media have been lying about what occurred on the day in order to attack Donald Trump and his supporters. He said the press had edited the footage to overstate the damage that occurred and even claimed that five police officers had been killed, when this was later shown to be untrue.

One of the most contentious elements of the footage involves the so-called “QAnon Shaman” who became an iconic face of the protests. The Navy veteran, whose real name is Jacob Chansley, was jailed for four years for apparently being on restricted property without lawful consent. In his defense, Chansley told the court that he had been guided around the Capitol buildings by police but was not believed. In the footage released by McCarthy and Carlson, Chansley’s story was proved to be true. His lawyer told Fox that he was not aware of the footage and that it had been deliberately kept from him by the Department of Justice.

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