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. theonceproudpartyofdumbasrocks

    Ouch!! That's too bad for all you frothing-at-the-mouth red-state hillbilly neo-tards. But don't let that stop you from wearing your panties in a bunch.

    But the real concern for America should be: just what contaminated the genepool for 36% of its population so severly that they view FAILURE as success?

    The only thing the Republican party is battling are the deluded hypoctrits that comprise its remnant base.

    October 23, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  2. Skip

    Simple and plain I do not turst one single person in congress or goverment. Those elected are elected to represent all american people, but still we see them being bought by medical insurance companies and any one that will fill thier greedy pocket with money for another term in office. There is no partisan goverment except for the rich and greedy people of this great country. Its ok i'll live with it and may they all enjoy their time in HELL. For they are all traitors to the people of the united states.

    October 23, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  3. cal

    The GOP is whats wrong with this country. They are selfish and only look out for the upper class americans. They don't care about the struggling middle class let alone those that's living in poverty. they are a bunch of ignorant name calling lying morons that has messed this country up the last 8 years and now want to blame President Obama for it. They had their chance and they blew it, now let this intellengent, well educated, and loved President clean up their mess, after all if anyone can do it President Obama can.

    October 23, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  4. Zion

    I wish that the GOP of Reagan would return. I was one of the GOPers who was not radical enough for the base, therefore I left the party. Reagan, Buckley, Powell, these are people that the DEMS were afraid of. They were not afraid of the Palin's, Limbaughs, or the Becks.

    October 23, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  5. true american

    gop and conservatists are virus of our society.

    October 23, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  6. Doug, New Jersey

    Republicans represent morals, values, integrity, fairness, class, and fighting for all rights and freedoms for all Americans, not just the ones we agree with.

    What do Democrats represent? I can't really capture such evil with words, all I can say is observe what goes on and how people act in the most Democrat areas of this country like Chicago.

    Most Americans are good people with decency and try to live an honest life where they make a positive impact, not taking from others and hating them for having more than them or being more moral and honest than them. Theforefore most Americans are republicans not Democrats. 40% of this country is conservative, meaning off the bat that's 40% of Americans who are good people, only 20% say that they are mean-spirited, selfish, dishonest, violent takers who don't take responsiblity for their actions aka liberals.

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

    I don't know about the rest of you, but I was a Republican, before 8 years of George Bush, but I will be voting as an Independent until such a time that the Republicans return to there roots and endorse a true leader!

    October 23, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  8. Death Panel Sarah

    Sir Elwayne- it is a random sampling.....of course, since only 25% of Americans want to be identified as Repuglicans, it is hard to find them to get their opinion.....ha, ha, boy, you just don't get it. Why don't they ask a Do-Do bird what it thinks.....because IT IS EXTINCT!!!!

    October 23, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  9. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    If you have read the book, Conservatives without Consceince, then you know that they haven't given up some of their talking points and attitudes. They don't seem to be welcoming of many people. It seems that the unified party that Reagan built is almost fully torn apart by George W(oman) Bush and his "want to be a conservative" actions. It will take someone to a while to rebuild Reagan's coalition.

    October 23, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  10. Hammerer

    The repubs are at their lowest rating in 25 years, what the poll does not say that the dems and congress as a whole are looked with the same trust.

    October 23, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  11. Lori

    And the Republicans believe they can win national elections in the future? HA!

    October 23, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  12. ronvan

    Republicans have done all of this by themselves! Allowing "Limburger" & the likes and "DICK HALLEBURTON CHENEY"
    to make ANY comments, mostly outrageous & the typical scare tactics, without denouncing them or just telling them to go away, has been & continues to be a big part of their problem. Not to mention that at present, they do not have ANYONE to put at the head of the party that could take charge. And don't say McCain or Palin. BOTH ARE LOSERS!!!

    October 23, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  13. floridian

    I find it amazing that in my 48 adult-years (21+) I have never been polled by any news organization/Rasmussen/or the like. Maybe it's because I spent 23+ years in the military, or maybe 'cause I am a registered Republican, or maybe because I am part of the older generation, or maybe because I live in the panhandle of Florida, or maybe whatever. My opinion - I find the Democratic party less favorable than the Republican party and I find neither party favorable. The main reason is that there are very few national politicians who, in my humble opinon, want to serve the people. The vast majority of them are in it to serve themselves. We have been heading downhill for many years and, unfortunately, many of the voting public find that type of behavior acceptable.

    October 23, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  14. Veteran

    Results of a CNN poll? Har,Har de Har Har!

    October 23, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  15. Ted Tartaglia

    It is no wonder that the Repub party has such a low approval rate. They have done nothing positive in the last ten years. The Get Obama Party has done nothing but oppose, criticize, and obstruct. They bring nothing to the table. They have no credible ideas, no solutions, no nothing. Repubs focus on the drivel and hate spewing from Limbaugh, Hannity, O'Reilly, Beck and their ilk. They seem to have lost the capability of rational thought and only parrot the propaganda they are spoon fed.

    If Repubs have any hope of becoming relevant again, they must abandon the religious whackos who have taken over their party and return to the principles of Goldwater – a true conservatist.

    October 23, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  16. B

    Big Surprise huh? They are basically obstructionists on everything positive that comes before them.

    One would think that after eight years of moving the country backwards and losing the election that they would think about new ideas...

    The party of NO !

    October 23, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  17. Mike

    Do you have to do a poll to figure that out???? The party of NO have no idea of their own except criticizing someone else idea!

    It must be greate to be a GOP congressman where you get paid six figure slary for doing nothing but criticize somone else idea.

    October 23, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  18. Jane

    Why are so many of them are breeding so much negativity these days. The nastiness shakes me to the quick.

    They seem to think outrageous comments and blocking progress will bring them votes. I’m scared that it will hurt us all!

    I need to reassess...

    October 23, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  19. Fair is Fair

    Think the GOP is done, huh Dutch? Hope you like your new governor in old dominion.

    October 23, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  20. Patriot

    And it's still too high!

    October 23, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  21. Sniffit

    just wait until the dems really sink this nation

    what will the CNN poll read then....................

    nothing, nodda, zip.............what do these polls actually mean

    nobody called me

    October 23, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  22. Christian Values

    Who would have thought? I mean, why would you not like these republicans, they sit around doing nothing but complain. They have never in their life done anything productive. I have five year old children that cry less then the members of the Grumpy Old People

    TIme to get rid of these good for nothing bums that are a blemish on the fabric of america. These people are an absolute abomination to man kind, having never had a productive act, thought or emotion in their entire existance. Get rid of the dead weight, get rid of the republicans!

    October 23, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  23. Proud Member..Party of No

    The GOP advantage over Democrats increased from two points to five in the latest edition of the Generic Congressional Ballot.

    The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 42% would vote for their district’s Republican congressional candidate while 37% would opt for his or her Democratic opponent.

    Support for Democrats dropped two points this week, while support for the GOP slightly increased.

    Voters not affiliated with either party heavily favor the GOP, 40% to 23%.

    October 23, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  24. Pam

    If the GOP wants the public to start taking them seriously again, they need to tell people like Cheney and Palin to shut up and go sit in the corner like good little kids!
    And then start focusing on someone with real intelligence and a real understanding of our world in the 21st century.

    October 23, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  25. worriedmom

    Hmm amazing that CNN doesn't say how low the Democrats ratings are. I have to laugh at all of you putting down the Republicans when your own party is destroying the country and eating their own! Talk about Republicans spewing hatred, i see that from the Democrats. Maybe i should clairfy that, there are some good Democrats and some good Republicans out there but the Liberals are all nuts!!! Talk about Un-American!
    So CNN keep your Libs happy for now but soon they will be reaching into their medicine cabinets for their Valiums.

    October 23, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
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