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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"Even if House Republicans manage to get enough members of their party on board with the latest version of their health care bill, they will face another battle in the Senate: whether the bill complies with the chamber’s arcane ... Byrd rule, which stipulates all provisions in a reconciliation bill must affect federal spending and revenues in a way that is not merely incidental." Democrats should have the advantage in that fight, "unless the Senate pulls another 'nuclear option.'”
The House has passed a one-week spending bill that will avert a government shutdown which was set to begin at midnight. Lawmakers now have an extra week to come to a longer agreement which is expected to fund the government through the end of the fiscal year in September. The legislation now goes to the Senate, where it is expected to pass before President Trump signs it.
President Trump’s portrayal of an effort to funnel more Medicaid dollars to Puerto Rico as a "bailout" is complicating negotiations over a continuing resolution on the budget. "House Democrats are now requiring such assistance as a condition for supporting the continuing resolution," a position that the GOP leadership is amenable to. "But Mr. Trump’s apparent skepticism aligns him with conservative House Republicans inclined to view its request as a bailout, leaving the deal a narrow path to passage in Congress."
Democrats in the House are threatening to shut down the government if Republicans expedite a vote on a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, said Democratic House Whip Steny Hoyer Thursday. Lawmakers have introduced a one-week spending bill to give themselves an extra week to reach a long-term funding deal, which seemed poised to pass easily. However, the White House is pressuring House Republicans to take a vote on their Obamacare replacement Friday to give Trump a legislative victory, though it is still not clear that they have the necessary votes to pass the health care bill. This could go down to the wire.