According to newly available Morning Consult polling, levels of public approval for Sens. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and Ted Crux (R-Texas) have declined in the aftermath of the recent Capitol rioting that their lies helped incite. Hawley and Cruz helped give a national spotlight to the utterly false claim that the outcome of the 2020 presidential election was in any way dubious, and on January 6, Trump supporters operating under the pretense of this lie violently stormed the Capitol and attempted to forcibly stop Congressional proceedings meant to certify the electoral college outcome. In Missouri, overall public approval of Hawley declined by 6 percent since the rioting, while Texans’ approval of Cruz dipped by 3 percent, according to the Morning Consult numbers.
Interestingly, approval for Hawley and Cruz among Republicans in particular sunk by larger margins than approval among the overall public. In Missouri, Hawley’s approval among Republicans dropped by a full 9 percent, ending up at 63 percent, while approval for Cruz among Texas Republicans fell by 5 percent, ending up at 76 percent. The nearly 10 percent dip in Republican approval for Hawley in his home state suggests that his dangerous recent anti-democratic antics might not have had the politically beneficial effects that he might have been hoping to obtain, although he has about four more years left of his current term.
Hawley was the first Senator to announce that they would object to the Congressional certification of some of Biden’s electoral votes, and Cruz soon made the same announcement. At the time of their remarks, the 2020 presidential election outcome was in no way whatsoever in question — Cruz called for a so-called audit, but the results already underwent rigorous and comprehensive examination in every single state as a part of the ordinary electoral process, although the Texas Senator seemed interested in pretending otherwise in order to prop up his stunt.
The Morning Consult polling was conducted from January 9 to January 18, while the polling from before the rioting ended on January 5. The sinking approval isn’t the only manifestation of the pushback that Hawley and Cruz have faced — this week, seven Senate Democrats filed a request for an investigation into the Senators’ actions by the Senate Ethics Committee. Hawley petulantly complained that the Democrats were trying to “silence dissent,” but in reality, they’re simply seeking accountability for those involved in perpetrating dangerous and virulent lies.