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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As the Russia investigation heats up, "the role of Marc E. Kasowitz, the president’s longtime New York lawyer, will be significantly reduced. Mr. Trump liked Mr. Kasowitz’s blunt, aggressive style, but he was not a natural fit in the delicate, politically charged criminal investigation. The veteran Washington defense lawyer John Dowd will take the lead in representing Mr. Trump for the Russia inquiry."
President Trump's attorneys are "actively compiling a list of Mueller’s alleged potential conflicts of interest, which they say could serve as a way to stymie his work." They plan to argued that Mueller is going outside the scope of his investigation, in inquiring into Trump's finances. They're also playing small ball, highlighting "donations to Democrats by some of" Mueller's team, and "an allegation that Mueller and Trump National Golf Club in Northern Virginia had a dispute over membership fees when Mueller resigned as a member in 2011." Trump is said to be incensed that Mueller may see his tax returns, and has been asking about his power to pardon his family members.
In addition to ties between Russia and the Trump campaign, Robert Mueller's team is also "examining a broad range of transactions involving Trump’s businesses as well as those of his associates, according to a person familiar with the probe. FBI investigators and others are looking at Russian purchases of apartments in Trump buildings, Trump’s involvement in a controversial SoHo development in New York with Russian associates, the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow, and Trump’s sale of a Florida mansion to a Russian oligarch in 2008, the person said. The investigation also has absorbed a money-laundering probe begun by federal prosecutors in New York into Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort."
Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team is "is examining a broad range of transactions involving Trump’s businesses as well as those of his associates", including "Russian purchases of apartments in Trump buildings, Trump’s involvement in a controversial SoHo development with Russian associates, the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow and Trump’s sale of a Florida mansion to a Russian oligarch in 2008."
"A Senate bill to gut Obamacare would increase the number of uninsured people by 32 million and double premiums on Obamacare's exchanges by 2026, according to an analysis from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. The analysis is of a bill that passed Congress in 2015 that would repeal Obamacare's taxes and some of the mandates. Republicans intend to leave Obamacare in place for two years while a replacement is crafted and implemented."