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Poll: If McConnell Doesn't Return as GOP Leader, Who Succeeds Him? Poll: If McConnell Doesn't Return as GOP Leader, Who Succeeds Him?

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Poll: If McConnell Doesn't Return as GOP Leader, Who Succeeds Him?

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Senate Minority Whip Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) walks through the Capitol Building.(Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

If McConnell does not return as leader, who is most likely to succeed him?

DEMOCRATS (82 VOTES)

John Cornyn: 53%
John Thune: 18%
John Barrasso: 2%
Roy Blunt: 23%
Other: 4%

 

John Cornyn

"Cornyn is next in line. Can't imagine they'd want to leap over him."

"Time for Big John—Cornyn that is."

 

"Cornyn enjoys the widest base of support, and with his conservative bona fides in place, telegenic presence, and relative youth, he'd be a smart choice."

"They should go with the less controversial Thune, but they likely would go with Cornyn—coming from Texas, he can provide bigger money IOUs."

"Republicans march up the ladder."

John Thune

 

"Time for someone who shines and smiles on camera."

"Possible new face for a stagnant party—remember when he and President Obama shared the National Journal cover in 2005 or 2006? They were the future faces."

"They will vote for the best TV candidate."

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"If they are smart, they'll make Thune the face of the Senate."

John Barrasso

"Barrasso is most capable of disrupting Obama's final two years without coming off as too brash to the public."

Roy Blunt

"Blunt is the only one of the group with the organizing savvy to pull it off."

"Blunt is acting more and more like a unifier of the Republican Party."

"The majority of the caucus wants a deal-cutter—he is the ultimate deal-cutter."

"A legislator's legislator."

 

If McConnell does not return as leader, who is most likely to succeed him?

REPUBLICANS (84 VOTES)

John Cornyn: 48%
John Thune: 27%
John Barrasso: 4%
Roy Blunt: 14%
Other: 7%

John Cornyn

"Cornyn failed twice as NRSC head and was rewarded with a promotion. What's the name of that principle?"

"He has worked his way slowly and respectfully to the top. And he can raise money. Game over."

"Cornyn has become an increasingly well-regarded behind-the-scenes player, helping his colleagues and piling up favors."

"Republicans like to reward seniority."

"Cornyn has the best creds both in terms of leadership and as a solid conservative."

John Thune

"The best mix of new conservatives and old-school Senate."

"Cornyn is the logical choice, but El Diablo Cruz lurks in the shadows to ensure that will not happen."

"He's smart, articulate, attractive, and sane. A great combination to possess for a party with the face of the angry white male."

"Cornyn is a good guy, but if McConnell is defeated it will be time for a new generation."

John Barrasso

"He's sufficiently conservative, intelligent, and ambitious. Plus potentially the consensus choice."

Roy Blunt

"Having served in the House leadership, he knows the drill. He's been quietly effective in the Senate."

Other

"Wide open. Only thing certain—it won't be Ted Cruz."

. . . . . . . .

Democratic Political Insiders Jill Alper, John Anzalone, Brad Bannon, Dave Beattie, Andy Bechhoefer, Cornell Belcher, Matt Bennett, Mitchell W. Berger, Mike Berman, Stephanie Bosh, Paul Brathwaite, Donna Brazile, Mark Brewer, Ed Bruley, George Bruno, Bonnie Campbell, Bill Carrick, Guy Cecil, Martin J. Chavez, Tony Coelho, Larry Cohen, Jerry Crawford, Jeff Danielson, Peter Daou, Howard Dean, Scott DeFife, Jim Demers, Tad Devine, David Di Martino, Debbie Dingell, Monica Dixon, Patrick Dorton, Pat Dujakovich, Anita Dunn, Jeff Eller, Steve Elmendorf, Carter Eskew, Vic Fazio, Peter Fenn, Scott Ferson, Jim Fleischmann, Tina Flournoy, Don Foley, Jeffrey Forbes, Vincent Frillici, Gina Glantz, Niles Godes, John Michael Gonzalez, Joe Grandmaison, Anna Greenberg, Stan Greenberg, Pat Griffin, Larry Grisolano, Michael Gronstal, Lisa Grove, Marcia Hale, Jill Hanauer, Dick Harpootlian, Paul Harstad, Laura Hartigan, Doug Hattaway, Mike Henry, Karen Hicks, Leo Hindery Jr., Harold Ickes, Marcus Jadotte, John Jameson, Steve Jarding, Jonathon Jones, Jim Jordan, Gale Kaufman, Lisa Kountoupes, Celinda Lake, David Lang, Penny Lee, Chris Lehane, Jeff Link, Bob Maloney, Jim Manley, Steve Marchand, Jim Margolis, Paul Maslin, Keith Mason, Susan McCue, Gerald McEntee, Steve McMahon, Tom McMahon, Phil McNamara, David Medina, Michael Meehan, Mark Mellman, John Merrigan, Michael Monroe, Steve Murphy, Janet Napolitano, David Nassar, Marcia Nichols, John Norris, Tom Ochs, Tom O'Donnell, Jeffrey Peck, Debora Pignatelli, Tony Podesta, Jefrey Pollock, Jack Quinn, Larry Rasky, Mame Reiley, Ed Rendell, Steve Ricchetti, Will Robinson, Steve Rosenthal, David Rudd, Ryan Rudominer, John Ryan, Michael Sargeant, Stephanie Schriock, Terry Shumaker, Sean Sinclair, Phil Singer, Erik Smith, Doug Sosnik, Greg Speed, Darry Sragow, Ken Strasma, Doug Thornell, Jeffrey Trammell, Ed Turlington, Rick Wiener, James Williams, JoDee Winterhof, Brian Wolff, Jon Youngdahl, and Jim Zogby.

GOP Political Insiders Dan Allen, Stan Anderson, Gary Andres, Saulius (Saul) Anuzis, Rich Ashooh, Whit Ayres, Brett Bader, Mitch Bainwol, Brian Baker, Gary Bauer, David Beckwith, Paul Bennecke, Clark Benson, Wayne Berman, Brian Bieron, Charlie Black, Kirk Blalock, Carmine Boal, Jeff Boeyink, Ron Bonjean, Jeff Buley, Luke Byars, Nick Calio, Al Cardenas, Danny Carroll, Alex Castellanos, Ron Christie, Jim Cicconi, Jonathan Collegio, Rob Collins, Cesar Conda, Jake Corman, Scott Cottington, Jay Cranford, Greg Crist, Diane Crookham-Johnson, Fergus Cullen, Tom Davis, Mike Dennehy, Ken Duberstein, Debi Durham, Sara Fagen, Frank Fahrenkopf, John Feehery, Don Fierce, Mindy Finn, Carl Forti, Alex Gage, Bruce A. Gates, Sam Geduldig, Adam Geller, Benjamin Ginsberg, David Girard-diCarlo, Bill Greener, Jonathan Grella, Lanny Griffith, Janet Mullins Grissom, Doug Gross, Todd Harris, Steve Hart, Christopher Healy, Ralph Hellmann, Chris Henick, Terry Holt, David Iannelli, Ed Ingle, Jim Innocenzi, Clark Judge, David Keating, David Kensinger, Bob Kjellander, Ed Kutler, Chris LaCivita, Jim Lake, Steven Law, Steve Lombardo, Kevin Madden, Joel Maiola, Gary Maloney, David Marin, Mary Matalin, Dan Mattoon, Brian McCormack, Mark McKinnon, Kyle McSlarrow, Ken Mehlman, Jim Merrill, Lisa Camooso Miller, Tim Morrison, Mike Murphy, Phil Musser, Ron Nehring, Terry Nelson, Neil Newhouse, David Norcross, Ziad Ojakli, Jack Oliver, Todd Olsen, Kevin O'Neill, Connie Partoyan, Billy Piper, Van B. Poole, Tom Rath, Scott Reed, David Rehr, Tom Reynolds, Steve Roberts, Jason Roe, David Roederer, Dan Schnur, Russ Schriefer, Rich Schwarm, Brent Seaborn, Rick Shelby, Andrew Shore, Kevin Shuvalov, Don Sipple, Ken Spain, Fred Steeper, Bob Stevenson, Terry Sullivan, David Tamasi, Eric Tanenblatt, Richard Temple, Heath Thompson, Jay Timmons, Warren Tompkins, Ted Van Der Meid, Dirk van Dongen, Jan van Lohuizen, Stewart Verdery, Dick Wadhams, John Weaver, Lezlee Westine, Dave Winston, Ginny Wolfe, Fred Wszolek, and Matthew Zablud. 

This article appears in the May 17, 2014 edition of National Journal Magazine as Political Insiders Poll.

DON'T MISS TODAY'S TOP STORIES

Chock full of usable information on today's issues."

Michael, Executive Director

Concise coverage of everything I wish I had hours to read about."

Chuck, Graduate Student

The day's action in one quick read."

Stacy , Director of Communications

Great way to keep up with Washington"

Ray, Professor of Economics

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