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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

DCorps Analysis: GOP ‘Brand’ Tanking

A new ‘Public Polling Report’ by Democracy Corps, “Analysis of Public Polls Shows GOP Obstruction Damaging Republican Brand” darkens prospects for conservatives who were hoping to block health care reform and win back control of congress. According to the DCorps analysis,

…In the past week, both the AP and Gallup…have released surveys showing a significant decline in opposition to President Obama’s health care plan, with Gallup showing the plan favored by a 51 to 41 percent majority… Recent public polls show Americans weary of both the status quo in health care and Republican obstructionism: overwhelming majorities say Republicans lack ideas and put politics ahead of the nation’s needs. This extreme partisanship is contributing to the continued stagnant and unimpressive standing of the Republican brand and threatens to further isolate Republican leaders from the American political mainstream.

In addition to the AP and Gallup polls, the DCorps analysis also cited a range of recent polls spelling bad news for the Republicans regarding their obstruction of health care reform and in general. These include:

The Kaiser Family Foundation found that 57 percent of Americans say “it is more important than ever to take on health care reform now” versus 39 percent who says “we cannot afford to take on health care right now.”
A recent NBC/Wall Street Journal survey found that a 45 to 39 percent plurality think it would be better to “pass Obama’s health care plan” rather than not pass the plan and “keep the current system.”
A Democracy Corps survey conducted in early September finds 56 percent agreeing that Republicans are “More interested in partisan politics than solving the country’s problems.”
The same poll finds just 29 percent saying that Republicans have “new ideas for addressing the country’s problems,” a lower rating than when we last asked this question in 2005.
Quinnipiac finds just 29 percent think that Republicans are “making a good faith effort to cooperate” with Obama on health care, versus 59 percent who say they are not.
A CBS/New York Times survey finds that just 27 percent think Republican members of Congress are opposing Obama’s plans because they think they are “bad for the country” while 64 percent say they are doing it for “political reasons.”
CNN finds that 61 percent say Republicans are “being obstructionist for mostly political reasons” versus 35 percent who say they are being “constructive.”
A Washington Post/ABC survey finds 62 percent saying Republicans in Congress are “not making a good faith effort to cooperate” on health care, versus just 31 percent who say they are.
Pew finds that 62 percent of opponents of health care reform think that “policymakers who oppose the current proposals” should compromise with supporters while only 33 percent think they should try to block passage of legislation.
That Quinnipiac survey finds that just 25 percent approve of the way Republicans in Congress are handling their job, while 64 percent disapprove.
The latest Democracy Corps survey finds just 30 percent with a favorable opinion the GOP while 44 have an unfavorable opinion. That -14 point net approval rating is nearly twice as bad as it was on Election Day in 2008. Moreover, the net 17-point favorability gap between the two parties is down only slightly from Election Day 2008 and is still substantially larger than when Democrats secured their first of two successive wave victories on Election Day in 2006.
A similar analysis of Pew data from Brendan Nylan at Pollster.com finds that “the Republicans are currently viewed more negatively than any minority party in the previous four midterms in terms of both net favorables and the difference in net favorables between parties.”
The early September Democracy Corps survey finds that just 35 percent think Republicans are “on your side,” one of the most important traits we measure. This is down 7 points from when we last asked it the summer before the wave election of 2006.
The NBC/Wall Street Journal poll finds that just 21 percent approve of the job Republicans are doing on health care while 65 percent disapprove.

The DCorps report includes revealing comments behind the numbers drawn from focus groups, and provides linked sources for all of the aforementioned data points, which the analysis says “show the Republican brand in tatters.”

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