House Speaker Paul Ryan leaves office today, handing the gavel to Democrat Nancy Pelosi after his own tenure of spiraling deficits, dishonest tax cuts, obsessive and entirely political Obamacare repeal efforts and a general inability to stand up to Donald Trump or in fact anyone else.
His legacy will be written up elsewhere. Let’s just have a look at the raw numbers, shall we? Because Paul Ryan leaves office as an astonishingly unpopular man.
Twelve percent. That’s Paul Ryan’s final favorability number, according to Civiqs: Twelve percent. He is approximately as popular as ebola-flavored breakfast cereal; even Republicans can only muster a 24 percent rating. That is bad. That is bad for a Republican House speaker, and is especially bad for one not accused of being a child molester.
Other tidbits: During the entire time Civiqs as been tracking Ryan’s numbers, starting at the end of 2016, it never topped 25 percent. Among Republicans, it hit 50 percent only once, and bottomed out at 21 percent in 2017, only slightly lower than it is today. (If you’re curious, among Democrats his final approval rating is … three.)
Now, Paul Ryan is a wonk, entirely unconcerned with how voters perceive him so long as he achieves his lifelong dream of runaway deficits, worse health care, and (checks notes, because it’s been a while) the same trickle-down economic gibberish that George H.W. Bush blasted Ronald Reagan for back in the days when the Republican Party was deciding just how far around the bend they would go. So he is likely not too shaken by approval numbers hovering in “I would like to be kicked in the shins by a horse” range of public opinion.
He can instead leave with his head held high, because while he may not be popular, and that is an extraordinary understatement, at least Paul Ryan accomplished those things he … set out to do?
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