The View is struggling to find a conservative replacement for Meghan McCain -- here's why
Meghan McCain (ABC)

The View co-host Meghan McCain departed the controversial show in August 2021 after four seasons and a replacement has still not been found - but it hasn't been for lack of trying. The question is quickly becoming: why?

Conservative guest co-hosts in the months following McCain's exit have included former Utah Congresswoman Mia Love, Condoleezza Rice, S.E. Cupp, Gretchen Carlson, Carly Fiorina, Eboni K. Williams, Mary Katharine Ham, Alyssa Farah, and Cameran Eubanks.

A former show staffer told Politico, “They are really looking for a unicorn. They want someone who is going to fight — but not too hard, because they don’t want it to be ugly and bickering.”

“Right now, we still do need a really conservative voice,” The View co-host Sunny Hostin told New York Magazine in August. “I also believe it’s really important to not have someone on the panel who spreads misinformation, who adheres to the big lies, who is an anti-vaxxer, because I think that’s dangerous.”

In the article, Hostin described Joy Behar as “very progressive,” Whoopi Goldberg as less so (“her big issue is economic and taxes”), and herself as somewhere in between “progressive values and conservative values.”

“Sara [Haines] says she’s an independent, but statistically there have been studies that show that independent people are just people that don’t want to be stigmatized by their own choices,” Hostin said. “Is she really an independent or just somebody that won’t commit? We need someone that will commit and we don’t have that voice. And we need someone that’s not duplicative of anyone else on the panel.”

Politico reported that the show, "...will continue to audition potential hosts in the new year, bringing some women back for a second turn. Farah will return in January, and the show will bring in other big names, like Bari Weiss and Lisa Ling - BARI WEISS and LISA Ling - neither of whom exactly fit the 'conservative' label — while the network continues to conduct focus groups on the audience’s reaction."

Execs are attempting to send a unified message on McCain's replacement search.

“Our plans are on track as we continue to look for the right person to join our panel of smart, dynamic women,” said a spokesperson for The View. “We look forward to welcoming guest co-hosts for return appearances and introducing new names into the mix in the new year.”