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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"Donald J. Trump said on Wednesday that he expected to reveal his vice presidential pick sometime in July—before the Republican National Convention in Cleveland—but added that he would soon announce a committee to handle the selection process, which would include Dr. Ben Carson." He said he's inclined to name a traditional political figure, unlike himself.
"Groups have flocked to the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs to ask for last-minute changes" to the Department of Labor's new overtime rules, which would require that businesses pay overtime to any salaried employee making more than $50,440 per year, up from the current $23,660. Business interests, as well as some nonprofits, say the move could lead to mass change in workers' statuses, from salaried to hourly. "The White House office held 22 meetings on the proposal in April, according to its calendar, and groups say more meetings are planned this week." Last month, National Journal's Alex Brown reported on how the change might affect Washington.
Republican gun-for-hire Ed Rollins is hopping on the bandwagon, er, the Great America PAC, "an outside group that’s supporting Trump. ... Rollins isn’t the only GOP mainstay coming around to Trump. In recent days, Republican veterans including Republican National Committeeman Ron Kaufman and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman have expressed an openness to him."
John Kasich is apparently the last domino to fall on the GOP side. NBC is reporting he's suspending his presidential campaign. His path to the Republican nomination seemed all but impossible—even at a contested convention—but he may have finally given up. The Washington Examiner reports Kasich has canceled a press conference at Dulles Airport, "and will instead hold one in Columbus, Ohio, at 5 p.m."
"As Donald Trump captures the mantle of presumptive Republican nominee, a new poll finds he begins his general election campaign well behind Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton. The new CNN/ORC Poll, completed ahead of Trump's victory last night, found Clinton leads 54% to 41%, a 13-point edge over the New York businessman, her largest lead since last July. Clinton is also more trusted than Trump on many issues voters rank as critically important, with one big exception. By a 50% to 45% margin, voters say Trump would do a better job handling the economy than Clinton would."