Donald Trump is traveling around the country, making inflammatory statements, and then demanding apologies from the people who call on him to apologize for his remarks. As far as political theater goes, it is an amazing thing to watch. However, if you’re a Republican Party strategist, a new poll from Pew Research Center on Republican Party approval ratings will have you thinking about updating your resume and reconsidering your career choices.
According to the Pew Research Center, Republican Party approval ratings are now the lowest they’ve measured since 1992, and that spells disaster for the GOP. Meanwhile, Democrats have gained a couple of points, very likely due to the recent rhetoric coming from 2016 Republican presidential candidates.
The Republican Party’s image has grown more negative over the first half of this year. Currently, 32% have a favorable impression of the Republican Party, while 60% have an unfavorable view. Favorable views of the GOP have fallen nine percentage points since January. The Democratic Party continues to have mixed ratings (48% favorable, 47% unfavorable).
The Democratic Party has often held an edge over the GOP in favorability in recent years, but its advantage had narrowed following the Republicans’ midterm victory last fall. Today, the gap is as wide as it has been in more than two years.
Republicans, in particular, are now more critical of their own party than they were a few months ago. About two-thirds (68%) express a favorable opinion of their party, the lowest share in more than two years. Six months ago, 86% of Republicans viewed the GOP positively. (Source)
I don’t think that it is any coincidence that the drop in approval ratings align with the entrance of Donald Trump into the race. While some conservative pundits like Michael Warren at The Weekly Standard argue that there is no evidence Trump is hurting the GOP, and Fox News continues to fawn over him, the polls say otherwise. On the other hand, former Florida GOP congressman Michael Souder warns that Trump is not only dangerous to the party, but he’s also doing incredible harm to the conservative brand at the same time. His bizarre remarks have even prompted a “Who said it: Donald Trump or Frank Reynolds?” quiz where you can try to distinguish real quotes from Donald Trump versus quotes from Danny DeVito’s character on the FX series “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia.”
Looking at these poll numbers, it’s not just independents that are turned off, Republicans lost 18 approval points within their own party – and it is likely to get even worse as candidates compete for votes in early primary states.
The current survey finds that positive views of the GOP among Republicans have declined 18 percentage points since January, from 86% to 68%. Independents also view the Republican Party less favorably; 29% today, compared with 37% six months ago. (Source)
Democrats don’t have this problem, although their ratings with independents remain unchanged. In the time since January, there have only been a couple of events that would have made a dent in the GOP’s approval numbers which are their angry response against the Supreme Court’s ruling – and Donald Trump’s take-no-prisoners beserker campaign that even has members of his own party begging him to tone it down.
Accusing immigrants of being rapists and bringing “tremendous infections disease” to this country may play well with the angry old white man primary vote, but it is driving voters away that the GOP cannot afford to lose in the general election. Being a former Republican, I can tell you that the GOP is willing to look the other way or even pander to the racist fringe of the party as they have been doing for years. Now they’re facing a tremendous problem of their own creation, and it is likely to be their rapidly approaching demise.
Latest posts by Manny Schewitz (see all)
- It Looks Inevitable, Donald Trump Will Eventually Be The Republican Nominee - January 17, 2016
- Donald Trump Is Now Using Ted Cruz’s Canadian Birth Against Him - January 14, 2016
- Hillary Clinton’s False Statements On Bernie Sanders’ Healthcare Record Are Disgraceful - January 14, 2016