October 23rd, 2009
11:54 AM ET
2 years ago

CNN Poll: GOP favorable rating lowest in a decade

WASHINGTON (CNN) – The Republican Party's favorable rating among Americans is at lowest level in at least a decade, according to a new national poll.

Thirty-six percent of people questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Friday say they have a favorable opinion of the Republican Party, with 54 percent viewing the GOP negatively.

According to the poll, 53 percent have a positive opinion of the Democratic Party, with 41 percent holding an unfavorable view. The survey indicates that favorable ratings for the Democrats have dropped 5 points since February, with the Republican number slipping 3 points.

"The Republican party may still be battling the legacy left to them by George W. Bush," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "They have also spent a lot of time in 2009 working against Democratic proposals. That hasn't left them a lot of time so far this year to present a positive, post-Bush message. Of course, there is still plenty of time for them to do so before the 2010 midterms."

Nearly seven in ten people questioned say they disapprove of how Congress is handling its job, with 29 percent saying they approve. That's a drop of 6 points in the approval since April.


"That animus toward Congress as a whole naturally spills over into attitudes toward the congressional party leadership. Just one in three approve of how the GOP leaders in Congress are handling their job; only 38 percent approve of what the Democratic leaders have done," adds Holland.

What does this mean for the 2010 elections, when all of the House and 36 Senate seats are up for grabs?

"The problem for Democrats is that the midterm elections are going to be about the Democratic Congress," says Stuart Rothenberg, editor and publisher of the non-partisan Rothenberg Political Report.

While next year's contests will partially be a referendum on President Barack Obama, who remains personally popular, at the end of the day it's the Democrats who control Congress who are on the ballot.

"If Congress continues to be unpopular, it will give Republicans a message to use against those Democrats," adds Rothenberg.

"Should the numbers should hold into next year, Congressional democrats would do well to limit references to Congress and see if the president might be available for a drop by in the districts," says CNN Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley.

The CNN Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted October 16-18, with 1,038 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

Full results (pdf)

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn


Filed under: Democrats • GOP
soundoff (138 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    I may write a book called "The Death of the GOP."

    You guys are done!

    October 23, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  2. muffy7

    Hopefully this will be good for the Dems I don't think many would go by her endorsement.

    October 23, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  3. j

    Now they are litterally eating their own.

    October 23, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  4. Moderate Democrat

    Republicans have ALWAYS been scum and unpatriotic (just ask Cheney who wouldn't serve his country when he dodged the draft five times). Their policies are the cause of all suffering in this country as well as much of the suffering in other countries. They readily embrace mass genocide and only act 'christian' when it's convenient.

    I pray for the day that jesus sends them where they belong. If that actually happens, Just a hint, bring marshmallows.

    October 23, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  5. A 50-year Democrat no more. Now an independent with brains.

    Where are these polls taken certainly not in Texas. I've and now of the people I know have ever been phoned or asked what we think. I was a Democrat for 50 years. But, boy did I wise up in a hurry when they stary talking antiwar and after the Vietnam papers arrive on the scene with the likes of Kennedy, Johnson and the rest. These people are not for the lower classs. You OBAMA FOLLOWERS better wise up because you are the ones that are going to be falling down the chinmey with Obama'a health program. He's planning on trimming Medicarew to where it won'
    t be accepted anywhere. Only part of the medical organizations accept it now. Wait until he trims the payments away.

    October 23, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  6. Bren

    Huh.....Funny.........The CNN poll is reflecting the opposite of what the unbiased, national polling centers such as Rasmussen, Gallup, etc. are saying. Based on the national polls-those who now consider themselves conservative/Republican are INCREASING. And, this is especially true amongst the Independents-as the majority of Independents no longer trust/support/approve of Obama, the Democrats, or any of their policies/plans-–and they do not approve of the direction that Obama and the Democrats are taking our country.

    October 23, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  7. Independent Senior in Bandon, Oregon

    I don't think John McCain really understands that Americans don't think it is cool to trash the sitting president like he has been doing the past day or two, saying how "weak" the president is or telling the president what he should do or not do about Afghanistan.

    McCain needs to fade to a memory.

    October 23, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  8. Sir Elwayne

    Well, I'm suprized! Another CNN Poll saying that everybody loves the Democrats and hates the Republicans. What was the percentage of Demos versus Repubs in this poll?

    October 23, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  9. Alaskan

    The Republican party is nothing but a unfaithful one no matter what.

    October 23, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  10. Jeff

    I'm surprised that it's not even lower. The GOP has become a party of hatred.

    October 23, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  11. gt

    both parties stink,,,,,both are corrupt,,,both dont care about anybody but there freinds..the only group that matters are the independents,,, and they are growing,,,, new blood,,,,,out with the old ...

    October 23, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  12. Reagan was wrong

    On the one hand, I remember the last 8 years so I really really really don't want the GOP to start messing things up again

    On the other hand, with so many of our least educated and most heavily armed citizens already CONVINCED that 2010 will be the GOP's year, I am concerned about what their reaction might be should their ideal fantasy not come to pass.

    October 23, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  13. call me crazy

    It is right that the republicans pay because the previous administration mislead us into the Iraq war. That should send a message so it doesn't happen again in the future. It's still not enough punishment for some of us.

    October 23, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    She probally just made her last big endorsement as well. I don't think that the rebugs that taught her a few ropes are going to like her spliting the vote. If the dem wins they will finish her off. Already the book orders are being canceled, She will never ever stand up and account for her actions. She will soon be religated to signing cupcakes for her palinbot for $0.25 each.

    October 23, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  15. Rob canuck

    From my view in Canada the GOP scares me and most of the rest of the world with their policies and radicalness. While they slam policies such as health care and belittle the countries that do have compassion, the only conclusion you can come to is that they do not care about ordinary people. The lies they espouse regarding health care is a disservice to your citizens. Oh by the way in Canada we started giving H1N1 vaccines two days ago and have no schools closed.

    October 23, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  16. Eric

    Ouch, it's cyclical anyway. Give it a few years for the party to rebuild and the dems to blow their power and it will turn around for the GOP.

    October 23, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  17. William

    The Republican party is so far off base and so far out of touch with what is left of there ranks, that Ronald Reagan is probably rolling over in his grave. They have no message, no direction and no leadership. The only conservative in 2008 field, Fred Thompson was abandoned by the party, and left to fend for himself, and the result was, well I think we all know, what we ended up with. The man who thought it was funny to joke about bombing Iran!

    October 23, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  18. Albert Tusin

    Figures never lie and lairs always figure. I would like to see the questions used in this poll and how they were presented and to what samples base it was applied!

    October 23, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  19. Northeast

    Until the party stands up and acknowledges the extremists like Palin, Fox news, Rush, Wilson, Bachman etc., don't represent core Republican values they will continue to be less and less relevant to mainstream voters.

    October 23, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  20. Expat American

    It's not low enough. Remember Republicans are the people who hang effigies of the President of the United States. These are Palin's 'Real Americans'; Country First Patriots who cheered when Bush ordered missiles aimed at Iraqi civilians during his failed 10 gallon cowboy shock and awe offensive. The global approval rating for Republicans and their voters couldn’t be any lower. At least that’s some good news.

    October 23, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  21. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    And it will continue to decline.

    October 23, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  22. shmeckel

    If you have a favorable view of either party you should have a psychological evaluation.

    October 23, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  23. lisa

    Not surprising. It'd be nice to see the Republicans stick their noses to the grind stones & buckle down & start working & adding constructive input where it's truly beneficial....but that's not the overall approach they've taken & sadly, I don't think they've realized how much this has been hurting them. It's a very embittered reaction...the reaction they've had to the election & the new administration. If Americans have to endure 4 years of this kind of back talk from the GOP, we're all going to be EXHAUSTED before it's all said & done!

    October 23, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  24. stephen Pagnozzi

    Not surprised at all. In all my 61 years, I have never seen the party denegrate themselves to a shameful level. I have never seen such a parochial attitude, towards any kind of legislation put forth. Granted, you may be philosophically on the other side of the political pole, but my gosh, everything is a negative coming from them. Nothing at all constructinve, and when you have people such as Palin, Limbaugh, and Cheney at the top, it really makes you wonder. Actually, it makes me laugh, ones more incompetent than the other. I'm sure the "Republican's have someone in their ranks that can actually talk civil over the plethora of problems that the Obama administration inherited and is still trying to fix. Steve

    October 23, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  25. Grog in Ohio

    I fear lamenting the death of the GOP is a bit premature. There's plenty of time for them to come up with some irrelevant, nonsensical scare tactic by November, 2010.

    October 23, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
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