AJC poll: Many Georgians dissatisfied with Paul Ryan

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House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill earlier this year. AP/Cliff Owen

A plurality of Georgians hold an unfavorable view of Paul Ryan less than two weeks after the House Speaker made the extraordinary announcement that he would no longer defend his party’s nominee for president.

A recent Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll found that 41 percent of Georgians – including 36 percent of Republicans – view the Wisconsin Republican unfavorably. Slightly more than one-third of respondents and 40 percent of Republicans and said they approved of the speaker, while one-quarter had no opinion.

The same survey found that most Republicans in Georgia preferred that elected officials back Donald Trump rather than speak out against the New York businessman.

The blowback comes after Ryan announced he would stop campaigning for Trump shortly after a leaked tape showed the Republican nominee vulgarly discussing groping women. Ever since then, the speaker has stayed out of the spotlight, focusing on keeping the House in GOP hands.

It may be up to voters in Southeast Wisconsin to decide whether Ryan should return in the new Congress, but the speaker’s popularity among Republicans will determine whether he will have enough support to win another term in party leadership.

The House GOP is scheduled to huddle shortly after the election to select its leaders for the new year. And the same ultra-conservative congressman who sowed the seeds to oust former speaker John Boehner in 2015 recently raised the specter of doing the same with Ryan.

“A lot of people who believe so desperately that we need to put Donald Trump in the White House — they question the loyalty of the speaker,” U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., said on WAAV, according to CNN.

Like Boehner, Ryan has struggled to keep his fractious GOP caucus united since his promotion last October. He occasionally ran aground in the eyes of his party’s most conservative flank, but he ignited the most anger after his announcement regarding Trump.

Speaking of the presidential nominee, he hasn’t exactly stayed quiet about Ryan on social media.

Read more about the poll:

AJC poll: Why Georgia Republican politicians are sticking with Trump

Why the presidential race in Georgia could come down to the wire

AJC poll: Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are deadlocked in Georgia

AJC poll: Isakson has big lead in Ga. Senate race, but runoff possible

Watch a video about the poll

View the crosstabs here.


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