Gallup Poll: Republican Party’s Image Is Worsening
A new Gallup Poll finds the Republican Party’s image has worsened since its big election day defeat which saw Democratic candidate Barack Obama elected to the White House and the Democrats increasing their Congressional majorities. The number marks a new low for the GOP in Gallup polling:
The Republican Party’s image has gone from bad to worse over the past month, as only 34% of Americans in a Nov. 13-16 Gallup Poll say they have a favorable view of the party, down from 40% in mid-October. The 61% now holding an unfavorable view of the GOP is the highest Gallup has recorded for that party since the measure was established in 1992.
Does this mean the Democrats’ image has gotten better so the GOP image has slid? No: Gallup finds this is a deterioration in the Republican image since the Demmies’ image remains the same:
By contrast, the public’s views of the Democratic Party remain as positive after the election as they were just prior to it. More than half of Americans, 55%, currently hold a favorable view of the Democratic Party and only 39% an unfavorable view, highly typical of views toward the Democrats all year.
In its conclusion, Gallup summarizes:
Previous Gallup analysis linked the party’s decline to the downward track of President George W. Bush’s job approval ratings in 2005 and 2006. However, the latest drop in the Republican Party’s favorable rating, from 40% to 34% (with much of that drop coming from Republicans), is not associated with a corresponding decline in Bush’s job approval score; rather, it most likely reflects Americans’ reaction to the Republicans’ big losses on Election Day.
Gallup also notes:
*The two parties got the same numbers on image in Dec. 2005 and since then the GOP image has worsened while the Democrats’ image has improved.
*The Republican party is viewed more unfavorably BY Republicans than how Democrats view their own party unfavorably. Independent voters have a better view of the Democrats but not by a whopping margin.
Gallup also asked Republicans where they think their party should go from here. The answer:
Most rank-and-file Republicans (59%) want to see the party move in a more conservative direction and another 28% want it to remain about the same. Only 12% would prefer to see the Republican Party become less conservative.
Neither party can win the presidency or majority power in Congress without attracting substantial support from political independents. But right now, independents are not offering any clear guidance about what they want from Republicans. About a third say the party should become more conservative, an equal percentage say it should become less conservative, and just under one-quarter say it should stay the same.
Which means a huge debate will continue to rage within the Republican party over the party’s future direction.
Democrats — whose views about the Republican Party are far less relevant to its future — are most likely to favor its moving in a less conservative direction.