Most Read

Top stories

GOP Senator Tweets Poll Asking if Senate Should End Filibuster—and It Backfired Spectacularly

GOP Senator Tweets Poll Asking if Senate Should End Filibuster—and It Backfired Spectacularly
Toni Sandys-Pool/Getty Images

Republicans are railing against Senate Democrats' effort to pass House-approved voting rights legislation that would offset the dozens of voter suppression bills passed last year by Republican state legislatures across the country.

Though the evenly divided Senate gives Democrats a functional majority, the Senate filibuster has effectively rendered the legislation dead before it begins. Most Democrats are proposing ways to bypass the filibuster and get the legislation passed, be it through a filibuster carve-out specific to voting rights or the end of the filibuster all together. However, two of the Senate's most conservative Democrats—Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Joe Manchin of West Virginia—continue to oppose any method of filibuster reform.

Far-right Senator Ron Johnson, taking time off from spreading vaccine conspiracy theories and denying the reality of violence at the Capitol on January 6, issued a Twitter poll asking whether the filibuster should be abolished.

Johnson gave options to "IMPLODE the filibuster so the Dems can RAM their voting rights legislation through Congress" or to "PROTECT the Senate."

Johnson likely expected his conservative Twitter followers to overwhelmingly call for the so-called protection of the Senate.

In reality, the opposite happened

As of 4:17 pm on January 18, with 22 hours left of the poll, an overwhelming 95.9% of Twitter users who voted called for the end of the filibuster and the prioritization of a fair democracy.

Twitter polls are by no means an effective or accurate measure of public opinion, but social media users cackled at the results nonetheless.

In reality, the public is much more divided on filibuster reform, and Americans often don't know what to make of it.

A Monmouth University poll from April found:

"One-third of Americans approve (34%) and one-third disapprove (34%) of the filibuster when it is described as a procedure used in the Senate to block a bill from being put to a vote until a supermajority of 60 senators agree to end debate. Another third (33%), though, have no opinion either way."

A Fox News poll from that same month reached a similar conclusion, with 27% calling for the end of the filibuster, 29% in support of keeping it, and 39% with no opinion.

But while Twitter polls aren't useful for gauging public opinion, this one was useful for dunking on a Republican Senator, and people soon alerted their followers of their participation.

Johnson has yet to take down the poll.