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. Darren

    haha Gop party is irrelevant, illogical, immoral and ungodly
    get rid of the "money first", "our religion is the only way" ideas and maybe GOP can come back someday

    October 23, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  2. State of Tennessee

    They forgot to mention that most of those polled either cannot legally vote, or are too dumb to cast a ballot without an Acorn member present to help them push the correct buttons.

    October 23, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  3. Jamie

    Can't say this is a shock! Over the last decade they have: 1) gotten us bogged down in two wars, 2) double the deficit and completely drain budget surplus they came into, and 3) sat and played the fiddle, some even fostered it, while the financial and housing markets imploded!

    October 23, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  4. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Anybody would be foolish to support the Republican party when your RNC chairman Michael Steele doesn't need them. But then again, Michael Steele and the GOP don't need supporters as long as they have the support of big corporation and one would be stupid not to recognize that.

    October 23, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  5. streetsmart

    I guess the party of "NO" has gotten its just rewards from the American electorate who said “NO” to them in response to their label…

    October 23, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  6. Normal in NH

    This is clearly full of fabrications...there is no way 29% of people approve of the job congress is doing.

    October 23, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  7. Gregory York

    I am very happy see that. I am so glad Nazi GOP is lowest in 10 years. Thank you, Americans. :)

    October 23, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  8. Roberto

    Surprised that it isn't much lower.

    October 23, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  9. BobNews

    The CNN poll has been completely discredited because they interviewed 36 % Democrats and only 20% Republicans and the rest Independents. Here are some valid polls from Rasmussen on the congress who are mostly Democrat.

    Just one-out-of-four Americans (25%) have a favor opinion of members of Congress. Seventy-two percent (72%) view them unfavorably. There’s some intensity in that perception, too. Only four percent (4%) have a very favorable view of congressmen, while 37% view them very unfavorably.

    Even 56% of Democrats have an unfavorable view of Congress although their party controls both the House and the Senate. Of course, their opposition pales next to the 86% of Republicans and 81% of adults not affiliated with either party who have an unfavorable opinion of Congress.

    But then voters are evenly divided over whether a group of people randomly selected from the phone book would do a better job than the current Congress.

    October 23, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  10. ran

    Still not low enough for me. I like to see 0. Maybe then we can get another party that will come in and do for the people seeing the democrats can not keep it together to give us at least a public option in health care. We should be getting single payer non-profit universal health care now.

    Our health should not be for profit.

    October 23, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    Keep on saying no......

    October 23, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  12. i want my finger back

    bottom line, people don't like either party. but this is a center-right nation not a liberal one which is what the dems have proven themselves to be. People will hold their nose and vote GOP.

    Governments get voted out not voted in.

    October 23, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  13. EBJ

    yet they keep talking about 2010 and how they're going to retake Congress. Something doesn't quite add up here.

    October 23, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  14. Ken in NC

    Maybe Republicans wouldn't be in such bad shape if someone would make sure that former VP Cheney gets the memo that he missed letting him know that he is no longer in power and needs to shut the hell up and go back to his undisclosed location. This is one Grumpy Old Man and a disgrace to Grumpy Old Men at best.

    October 23, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  15. Joker

    CNN is a joke.

    CNN is the Obama network.

    The people no longer believe anything that is reported by the news.

    You are a bunch of liars.

    October 23, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  16. STILL unemployed in Iowa

    Thats because the Repubs are OLD and STATUS QUO. They are out of touch like the Democrates and dont care about the people, they only care about private agendas like Obama and Pelosi,.

    October 23, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  17. independent

    This is no surprise. What is surprising is that it took so long for the people to see that not only did the Emperor have no clothes, but the entire GOP Party is naked.

    Everytime they open their mouths, it's a sex scandal, a racial slur, it's an out-of-touch bunch using fear instead of principles, using demagoguery instead of ideals. and using 'No' instead of new ideas.

    October 23, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  18. Ron In California

    And congress as a whole are a bunch of jackanapes.

    October 23, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  19. Walter

    The Party of NO is such an appropriate tag to these floundering idiots.
    Sara Palin, Newt Gingrich, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, George Bush & Dick Cheney, Pat Robertson and the new dunce republican whip Paul Ryan from Wisconsin...

    NO, NO , NO... No substance, No ideas, NO strategy, NO compassion, NO to a great America....the Republicans have focused so much on wishing Obama's Waterloo, the "militant" gay agenda, the war machine mentality, as well as, protecting the wealthiest thieves on Wall Street and the Healthcare industry that they have totally and utterly lost the "workingman's republican vote" (an oxymoron if I ever heard one)

    So long as the Republicans are represented but such IRRELEVANCE as the people mentioned above, they are doomed to the insignificance that they deserve...GOOD RIDDANCE and Good Night..... I hate to give them any help, but remember this motto in times of confusion "United We Stand, Divided We Fall"....perhaps its time to re-elvaluate there objectives to turn America into a 3rd World Country, obviously, the American Voters think otherwise.......

    October 23, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  20. Debby

    WOW a thousand thats a record number CNN. LOL What did you do poll all the Dems.

    October 23, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  21. Jobless Recovery

    When republicans act like republicans should, it will go up. Less government, eliminate deficit, and move rights to the states.
    That's what republicans should be for. Country doesn't like democrat light.

    October 23, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  22. gary

    You bet the Republicans are the party of obstruction and 'no'. We obstruct every one of obama's push toward making our government more marxist and socialistic. We say 'no' to more government regulations, higher taxes, government entitlement programs, muzzling of the free press, etc. And the American people are catching on to this clown that they mistakenly trusted our country to. You libtards are suppose to be tolerant and welcome diversity; but the posts I have been reading are nothing but hateful.

    October 23, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  23. Jobless Recovery

    This doesn't surprise me...but how is anyone favorable of our chicago mob politician Obama? All he does is campaign and spend us into deficit oblivion. Obama is such a disappoinment. No wonder he has the biggest quarter drop in popularity in American history.

    October 23, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  24. Eric

    there should be term limits for congressmen because this 365 days a year campaigning does nothing. All politicians care about is making money off our backs and keep their cushy jobs.

    October 23, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  25. Michelle

    The GOP is just a of party of rich, ugly, old white guys who got rich from manipulating and cheating the American people. All is being revealed...and who would want to be involved with that......disgusting.

    October 23, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
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