Favorability ratings for Republicans are at historic lows.
According to the latest from Gallup, 62 percent of Americans now view the Grand Old Party unfavorably, with the numbers rising sharply in recent weeks. Dislike of Democrats has increased as well, but by a tiny degree in comparison.
Republicans haven’t been this despised since the end of 2008, right before Democrats rushed into the House and Senate in a wave.
But perhaps more interesting is Gallup’s inspection of how Republicans feel about their own party. The headlines about Republicans lately reflect a fissure in the party, and polls may have tapped into that. The Gallup poll finds that Republicans are twice as likely to view their own party unfavorably than Democrats. Twenty-seven percent of Republicans don’t like their own party right now, and that’s rising at a greater rate when compared to self-hating Democrats.
“The GOP’s unfavorable rating among Republicans is up 8 points from September, compared with a 1-point rise in Democratic Party unfavorables among Democrats,” Gallup reported. The poll was conducted between Oct. 3 and Oct. 6 among a random sample of 1,028 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.
Republican displeasure with Republicans was bubbling up before the government shutdown. A week before the shutdown, 51 percent of Republican respondents in a United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll said Congress should continue funding the government and deal with Obamacare afterward. Their leaders did the opposite, insisting that the continuing resolution be tied to changes in the Affordable Care Act.
But as has been reported, national polls might not be so important for the political future of certain Republican legislators in deep-red gerrymandered districts. They have to worry about winning primaries against conservative opponents, not adjusting to a national sentiment. In fact, they may have good reason to dig their heels in and confront Obamacare and the Democrats unyieldingly.
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Hillary Clinton hopes that television ratings for the candidates' acceptance speeches at their respective conventions aren't foreshadowing of similar results at the polls in November. Preliminary results from the networks and cable channels show that 34.9 million people tuned in for Donald Trump's acceptance speech while 33.3 million watched Clinton accept the Democratic nomination. However, it is still possible that the numbers are closer than these ratings suggest: the numbers don't include ratings from PBS or CSPAN, which tend to attract more Democratic viewers.