October 23rd, 2009
11:54 AM ET
3 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. LIP

    These polls are all Bull. On one hand I congratulate CNN and all the other affiliates for standing up for freedom of speech and saying no to excluding Fox News from interviewing the pay czar. Perhaps something rubbed off Chevez when he shook hands with President Obama. Perhaps he caught a bug that makes you want to shut up anyone that disagrees with you.
    So on the one hand I agree with CNN , but with regards to the popularity of the Republican party...it is still just as strong. It is just more difficult to hear them over all the noise the liberals are making with their demands for all the entitlement programs they are secretly launching behind closed doors.

    October 23, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  2. Bubble of Sanity

    The Republican party has a - more or less - 50% approval rating. The Democratic dominated congress barely has a double digit approval rating.

    What do these things mean? Nothing. Either one of them. Why? Because we never see the actual questions asked that get interpreted.

    Had it been Republicans doing the survey, their approval would have been ridiculously high.

    Surveys mean nothing. Just ask Dewey and Truman.

    October 23, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  3. J-STIZLE ( Oakland, Calif. )

    The Republican Party is destined to become smaller and smaller
    every year. The demographics of America are changing ........ younger, more minorities, increasing gays/lesbians. This ain't 1959 , its 2009.
    As much as Republicans long for the "so-called" good old days .... its
    over. As an African American man ( age 55 ) , The so-called "good old
    days" that Republicans , and other Americans remember ..... weren't
    that good for us anyway !!!!!!!

    October 23, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  4. Dale

    My mother, a Republican for sixty years told me that she is no longer a Repbulican. She said "Because Republicans don't care about people." She was referring to their complete and total lack of caring about the poor, the disabled and the disadvantaged. They care more for the unborn than the born. Probably because caring for the unborn doesn't cost them anything. Oh, and they also don't care about dead Iraqis, or basically anyone in the world that is not one of them them. There are no disenting Republicans... only RINO's.

    October 23, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  5. AP in Illinois

    It took 25 years for this country to finally wake up. It has been downhill for the GOP ever since Reagan left the White House. Anybody want to bet on the odds of this story showing up on Fox News?

    October 23, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  6. Carnell From The Motor City

    Willfull Ignorance Is The New/Old Drug In American Politics Today. Just From Some Of The Most Pathetic, Whiny, And Hypocritic People Of Popular Opinion. It's A Sad State Of Affairs When Republicans Offer Nothing But Doomsday Rhetoric When They Can't Get Their Way.

    October 23, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  7. Nothing 'Stand Up' about Sen John Ensign (R-NV)

    The members of the Republican leadership don't even know what the Republican Party stands for any more.

    Everyone seriously participating in the debate in the House and Senate over health care reform, for example, caucuses with the Democrats.

    Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) made a sad attempt to stay relevant in the debate, but has failed.

    Whether or not we get real health care reform, which must include a strong public health insurance option, is now entirely up to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada).

    And if he fails as a leader of the Democratic Party, he's finished next year.

    October 23, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  8. Rick CT

    So 53% approve of the Dems, yet only 29% approve of Congress, which is completely controlled and run by the Dems. Doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

    October 23, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  9. t22

    Well you've got more than half the country looking for government handouts as they've been promised by the President so it's no wonder. Then you've got the active campaign to squelch conservative speech and to vilify anyone who is a Republican. One of the first posters on here said it, they think Republicans are scum. Now I don't agree with many Democrats, especially on the important issues, but I don't think they are scum and not entitled to their opinion.

    Give it time though. When unemployment gets worse and people realize they have to pay for their insurance because their employer no longer will, the hordes will come running back. Eventually people are going to realize they are better off with a job than with government handouts, especially when the government realizes it can no longer afford those handouts.

    October 23, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  10. seebofubar

    This is funny, this is the only poll that shows the GOP's numbers dropping. Gallop and Rasmussen both show exactly opposite. Who did you poll, illegal aliens? If you look at the demographics, the higher income, higher IQ, older, better educated, higher achieving Americans tend to be Republicans while most under achieving, low income, lower education Americans tend to be Democrats. As for me I'll hang with the winners, you guys can go whine with the loosers.

    October 23, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  11. mario mtl ca

    Gops are done

    October 23, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  12. Really

    Wow, 1,000 people were polled. It must be true then. I am a conservative republican. I find that the liberal democrats are filled with too much hate and they are narrow sighted. I love how they spew hate towards individuals and make comments that aren't even relevent to the article. Reading the recent comments on multiple sites, it looks like the talking point is Dick Cheneys draft dodging bs. I saw a post about the rainy weather and someone had to go on about how Dick Cheney dodged the draft 5 times.

    October 23, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  13. Proud Member..Party of No

    Headline from the U.K. Telegraph today:

    "Barack Obama sees worst poll rating drop in 50 years"

    Of course, you won't see that in the liberal American press.

    October 23, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  14. Adampowell, Londonderry

    They are still living in denial everyday of what they did to our Great nation USA 8 years Shame.

    They can blame Bill Clinton, but question will always be if they could not fix anything for last 8 years when they were in power, what was excuse?.

    GOP step back if you can not support United States America recovery for better direction.

    China is the real threat to our great country not Democrats Administration, disrespecting US Presidency in joint session speech was step to far to giving foreign nation points.

    American people are used to your "Fear Tactics and Lies", a good critic always have plans or opinion where is your plans for America?

    October 23, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  15. Peter s

    RIP GOP, your demise was long overdue!!, and please stop wasting time calling yourselves independent! down with GOP, Down with porridge baggers oops tea baggers!, Down with the token guy! your chairman, up with Rush limbaugh, Hannity and Becks!!

    October 23, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  16. Big Ed

    Looking at the 8 years of the Bush / Cheney monarchy, the condition they left our nation in, not to mention the borderline pathological and illogical (not to mention fact depleated) rants of Ruh Limbaugh, Ann Coulter and the like, there is no wonder that the GOP is in this position. They are so far removed from the everyday American and their concerns. The GOP is offering nothing to help this nation. "NO" is not a solution. "NO" is not a form of peace. "NO" is not an economic plan. Until they develop a comprehensive plan that benefits a broad section of Americans, they will continue to be kNOwn as the "Party of 'NO'"!

    October 23, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  17. BringOurTroopsHome

    Well, they sullied this country forever by starting baseless wars and torturing people; they continue degrading themselves by voting against healthcare reform, voting pro-rape and anti-environment.
    I'm surprised their approval rating isn't lower than 10%. Rep. Grayson is right, the Republican Party is the party of no, nothing, and soon, nobody.

    October 23, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  18. Kathy

    The GOP, or the party of angry old white men, do not have that much in common with the vast majority of the changing electorate in this country. They are full of hate, selfish, and un-patriotic. They have NO ideas of how to make things better for the average American. They do care about how much money businesses like the healthcare industry can make, but care nothing about the average, struggling, middle class family. As far as I'm concerned they can continue to move further to the right and become less and less relevant. It will take a generation to clean up the mess Bush left, we need a break from them.

    October 23, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  19. Ken in Pisgah Forest

    Being patriotic means you care about Americans, and the Republicans don't care about anything but their own greed. I am ashamed to say I used to be a Republican, but no more.

    Republicans know employer based healthcare is dead because employers can no longer afford the cost, but they won't vote for anything because they want Obama to fail, and the Republican congressmen are afraid of their party leadership so they fall in line like sheep. The Democrats may not have the best answers, but they are trying to do something to fix this mess the medical system created.

    October 23, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  20. kyl3

    Republicans I have 2 questions that I would like honest answers to.

    1. Is there any "bad news" for the GOP that wasn't rigged or somehow falsified by objective news sites?

    2. Is there any goods news that the Democrats can get without someone saying "they are in the tank for Obama"?

    This is starting to get ridiculous. It's like if you read something you don't like, you are ready to bash it.

    October 23, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  21. Dan Holiday

    The GOP is fine. Trust me on this. The liberal party on the other hand is in trouble. Looks at polls on websites other than CNN. You will see the true feelings of the American people. You can try fooling yourselves into thinking that the GOP is dead and that the democrats are riding the high-horse, but in the end, you will see that it is just an illusion to make yourselves feel better.

    Anyone but those liberal criminals in 2009, 2010, 2012.

    October 23, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  22. Mark

    It is far time that we get away from the idea that voting for a third party candidate is splitting the vote or throwing your vote away.

    This is a free country and you should vote for whomever you believe to be the best candidate no matter the party.

    October 23, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  23. Tram

    The GOP have proven time and again that they hate America, Americans and everyone else. Americans do NOT want people with that attitude representing them. We had eight years of it, and now the GOP is destroying itself. They're eating their own. Good riddance to bad rubbish. Get rid of them and let another party start up, maybe one that loves what America used to stand for - the America Bush and his people destroyed.

    October 23, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  24. Terry from West Texas

    It would be nice if Conservatism would just die. It has harmed America and the world for decades. The more time goes by, the more damage is done.

    A small example. 40,000 people die every year due to lack of health insurance and many more suffer needlessly from preventable, curable, or treatable conditions. Since the Conservatives defeated the Clinton efforts to do something about this, that is about 700,000 deaths. That is 75 times the number of Americans that have been killed by terrorists since 9/11. So, it is reasonable to say that Conservatism is 75 times more dangerous to Americans than terrorism is.

    Conservatism kills more Americans (by their determination to prevent our nation from solving its problems) than guns, street drugs, prescription drugs, automobile accidents, suicide, and alcohol. Tobacco kills more Americans than Conservatism. Conservatism and tobacco are America's worst habits.

    October 23, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  25. wait a minute

    Governors Jindal and Romney are the only two GOP candidates that are worth watching. Ex-Governor Palin, who doesn't read much and quit her job midterm, is out of the question. But she is entertaining. If GOP takes her seriously, I would love to keep Obama as my president.

    October 23, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
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