More bad trending for the Republican Party as it heads further into the 21st century. It again suggests the Congressional Republicans could wind up hurting their party’s sagging image even more if they allow the country to go over the fiscal cliff, no matter how many hours Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh spend blaming the Democrats and President Barack Obama. This poll:
Just over half the public says that the GOP should give up more than the Democrats in any bipartisan solution to the country’s problems, according to a new national survey.
And a CNN/ORC International poll also indicates that a slight majority of Americans sees the Republican party’s policies and views as too extreme, a first for the GOP, and fewer than a third say they trust congressional Republicans more than President Barack Obama to deal with the major issues facing the nation.
The poll’s Thursday release comes less than two weeks before the country faces automatic tax increases on nearly all Americans, as well as deep federal spending cuts, if no deal is struck to avert the country from falling off the fiscal cliff at the end of the year.
According to the survey, 53% say the GOP should compromise more, with 41% saying the Democratic Party should give up more of the proposals it supports to develop bipartisan solutions.
“That’s due in part to the fact that the Republican brand is not doing all that well,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.
The bottom line is trending: more and more Americans now believe the GOP’s policies are too extreme:
Fifty-three percent of those surveyed say they view the policies of the GOP as too extreme, up 17 points from two years ago. Only 37% say they view the polices of the Democratic Party as too extreme.
It probably doesn’t help that House Speaker John Boehner, who’s leading GOP fiscal cliff negotiations with the president, is held in fairly low regard, particularly in comparison to Obama. According to the poll, 34% of the public approves of how the top Republican in the House handling his job. By contrast, the president’s approval rating stands at 52%.
It gets worse for Republicans in terms of what they decide to do will further do to their image:
“Small wonder that nearly half say they have more confidence in President Obama than in the congressional Republicans and that nearly half (48%) would blame the GOP if the fiscal cliff occurs,” adds Holland.
Thirty-seven percent said they would blame the president more, with 11% saying they would point fingers at both sides equally if no agreement is struck to avert falling off the fiscal cliff.
Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.