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. jeff

    No surprise! Look at the Morons that represent them !Who's the leader of their party? Sara Palin ,Glen Beck,??It's a party of Racists,Rich a holes who don't care about anyone but themselvs,and Traitors to the American way!

    October 23, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  2. Carl in MI

    Ever since Dubya became President, Republicans lost their favorable rating with me. With their Culture of Corruption over the last decade and now being the party of NO!... I doubt if I'll ever vote Republican again!

    Encouraging all the nastiness of the townhall meetings, the fake outrage and the corporate-sponsored tea parties... they have become the party of spoiled-rotten rich white kids that have become old white-haired guys!!

    When I disagreed with Dubya about the War in Iraq, I was called treasonous and a traitor by Republicans... now I call the Republicans treasonous and the traitors of our great nation. Those who cheered when Chicago (an AMERICAN CITY!!!) didn't win the Olympic bid... should be counted as traitors!!

    Republicans are the party of traitors and guilty of treason!!!

    October 23, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  3. Jeff

    Anyone surprised?

    October 23, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  4. Kevin in Ohio

    You WISH, CNN....... another slanted poll that differs from every other poll out there.

    October 23, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  5. Stacey

    Of course the "Get Obama Party" is at it's lowest level. The GOP is the Good Ole boy Party; the obstructionist party; the angry white citizens party; the teabaggers; the birthers; the party of NO as in No answers, No solutions and No nothing. They are the party of hate and divisiveness which makes them irrelevant. They're so hell bent on ensuring Obama fails, that they don't care about America or her citizens.

    October 23, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  6. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    The Republicans ARE DONE. FINITO. They stand for nothing that the American public wants to hear much less embrace and be affiliated with. Look at yourselves for God's sake: immoral, bigoted, greedy, and LIARS. Look at your 'leadership': Beck, Palin, Hannity, Bachman, Limbaugh. Your superhero BushII turned out to be the LAST nail in your coffin. He singlehandedly and with your Party's consent brought us to the very edge of TOTAL FINANCIAL COLLAPSE. Yes GOP, YOU took us there. All of us. And then you had a Tea Party.

    You are so done.

    October 23, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  7. Ken in Pisgah Forest

    IN THE NAME OF GOD, AMEN. We, whose names are underwritten, the Loyal Subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord King James, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, &c. Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith, and the Honour of our King and Country, a Voyage to plant the first Colony in the northern Parts of Virginia; Do by these Presents, solemnly and mutually, in the Presence of God and one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil Body Politick, for our better Ordering and Preservation, and Furtherance of the Ends aforesaid: And by Virtue hereof do enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions, and Officers, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general Good of the Colony; unto which we promise all due Submission and Obedience. IN WITNESS whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names at Cape-Cod the eleventh of November, in the Reign of our Sovereign Lord King James, of England, France, and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth, Anno Domini; 1620.

    Above is the Mayflower Compact. Which party exemplifies it the best?

    October 23, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  8. Adalbert

    What do you expect? The American people are not stupid.

    October 23, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  9. Mr. Semaj

    I have to wonder, how did Ronald Reagan get re-elected if the Republicans were so unpopular, and the economy was in such poor shape during his first term?

    October 23, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  10. Kris

    Well, who would want to be a part of the GOP? They have just about ruined our blessed USA with the Bush/Chaney corrupt administration. Lying to take us to war (remember Yellow Cake?), stealing elections, failed policy in Iraq, taking the war away from Afghanistan, trampling the US Constitution in an effort to denier gay’s and lesbian Americans basic Civil Rights, not to mention the pain each of us felt every time GW tried to make a speech. They hitched their wagon to that NUT BAG James Dobson & Jerry Falwell. Gawd, then remember Karl Rove, Tom Delay? You are gauged as a successful Republican if you have not been indicted! They tried to revive themselves with Sarah Palin? The entire last administration should be locked away in a Federal Prison!

    October 23, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  11. Change In America

    The Republicans are doom...They are the worst policitician in America
    Let vote Republicans out the office

    The Ruplicans are doom

    October 23, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  12. Peoples Voice

    And, it will continue to go down as long as Rush and Glenn are the major spokeholes for the Repubs.

    October 23, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  13. Zach K

    If the GOP wants to be favorable again...LISTEN TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. The Democratic Party Listens, however, you don't.

    If you don't, failure will be imminent.

    October 23, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  14. Grahame

    I really have a problem with this. How do you post a positive Bush message anyway?

    And beside that how in the hell do thirty six percent of the population
    have a positive view of the Republicans? Who are these people of very limited intelligence. I will bet you even money they are mostly white, middle aged, and live in the South. I really pity them all. What a sad bunch of losers.

    October 23, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  15. Justin

    Good stuff. How many people attended Cheney's latest 'speech' where he was awarded a statuette in a train station? Was it eight?

    Either political party will always have about 30 percent of the population that will stay on the bus even if the leadership is driving it over a cliff.

    Right now, the GOP bus is much closer to the edge. They need to change drivers or it's gonna be lights-out for many years ...

    October 23, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  16. Emma

    Everything I read there is talk about a Democratic bloodbath at the polls. Is everyone crazy? The Republicans should be cautious in their gloating.........after all the polls say they have a lot to worry about.

    How can another Republican get elected when no one knows their stance on any issue. What I hear is the word "NO" but never "this is what we will do." Do the Republicans think Americans are stupid? They have been able to use fear in the past to win, now that President Obama lead the polls in "who will protect America" and he gets high marks. What is left for the Republicans? The 2010 elections are going to be notable...............DEMOCRATS STILL IN POWER!

    October 23, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  17. Sniffit

    "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. "

    Interesting overgeneralization. Wanna explain how that fits in with your ranting about us "Dem elitists"? Idiot.

    October 23, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  18. Aunt Bea and Opie

    They havent seen the bottom yet,hahaha

    October 23, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  19. WoW

    Easy Liberals. You are all a bunch of "Yes-Head Shaking" robots who listen and worship to everything the liberal media and Obama say.

    This current Democratic White House passed a $780 billion stimulus plan of which we were told would keep unemployment at 8%. Guess What? It is 10%. We were told this administration would be bi-partisan and would let go of "usual politics." That hasn't happened. This administration has spent an enormous amount of money after we were told spending would be kept in a reasonable favor. It has been nothing but broken promise after broken promise. Things are heading in the wrong direction. The White House would rather argue with Fox News and campaign than fix the current problems going forward.

    Half of you posters do not have a clue of what is going on. You just follow media rhetoric. Do your own research. Pick your own candidates. Do not get sucked into advertisements.

    October 23, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  20. phoenix86

    As the US lags in education and more and more individuals can no longer get by on their own, relying more on federal handouts; the results of the poll is not surprising.

    Republicans are generally more individualistic and self reliant than democrats. This is a trend of decades and will only change when the education system improves.

    October 23, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  21. Dave

    Who cares about Dems or Repubs? You noted that Congress has a 29% approval rating. It is going to be the independents; who determine the outcome of future elections.

    October 23, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  22. Steve

    The Republican party doesn't care about people. They are basically obstructionists on everything positive that comes before them. They have become known as the party of NO, NO and NO! In every election since 1960, I have voted Republican, but no longer. I don't believe I have left the party, the party has left me. Today, I call myself an independent. If Palin, Jindal, Steele, Greer, Limbaugh, Cheney are the best the party has to offer, GOD HELP US! We also need to have a clean sweep of Congress. Get rid of Pelosi, Reid, Franks and the rest of the idiots and lets elect people that will really care about the needs of people. No increase in Social Security benefits, but the idiots in Congress voted themselves a heft increase in salary!

    October 23, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  23. Sniffit

    "Guess What? It is 10%."

    And experts have said it would be 13%-15% right now but for the stimulus package.

    " We were told this administration would be bi-partisan and would let go of "usual politics." That hasn't happened."

    The GOP won't let it.

    October 23, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  24. Jane

    And this is news????

    No ideas + No bipartianship = Low ratings. Makes sense to me

    October 23, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  25. Greg, San Francisco, CA

    The GOP will continue to be irrelevant as long as they remain the party of obstruction. Even Reagan and Tip O'Neill worked out their personal differences because they knew both the Dems and Reps are responsible for what happens in this country. Since Gingrich came to power in the 90's we have seen the GOP steadily become irrational, obstinate and increasingly irrelevant, culminating in the nadir of American politics, the GW Bush administration. Never again.

    October 23, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
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