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. hanes

    ....strange how the GOP favorable ratings tends to move in unison with the media's favorable ratings. Since 90% of media are arms to the obama administration and join in their daily attacks of the GOP, what exactly does that say about these polls? lets see.....media marketing hate towards GOP....public buys the hate...thus materialized in the polls. Public instincts also recognized media bias and expressed as such...thus media has low ratings with public in polls.

    oh yes, this is great for america!!! i can see a bright future indeed!!!

    Signed- US immigrant considering a return to home-land

    October 23, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  2. John Michael McCleese

    Both parties are the SAME. They are just puppets for the good old boys on Wall Street or "special interest" groups. Where is Ross Perot when you need him? Bush-Cheney, Iraq, no WMD, Katrina (fly over), tax breaks for the wealthy, Halliburton, pharmaceutical companies writing Medicaid benefit drug programs, Obama bailing out Chrysler, GM, Wall Street (with my money). God, will it ever end. Oh, I almost forgot, NAFTA, CAFTA, steroid use by major league ball players. I have to stop, I am getting nauseous.

    October 23, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  3. glib lib

    Repubs seem to gloat over falling Democrat poll numbers. Somebody want to tell these idiots that their republican numbers are even worse! The problem people have with dems right now is they keep trying to get republican support. Republicans will not agree to anything that doesn't include cutting taxes for the rich, dictating who gets married to who, and every citizen in this country, young and old, owning a gun. Democrats, do what the country voted you in for and forget about these childish, POUTING republicans!

    October 23, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  4. Pete East

    Poll results always depend on the questions. The Republican party of the present is about as irrelevant as they were in 1993, and are as out of power as the Democrats were in 2004.

    October 23, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  5. Roger

    GOP =

    1. Defunct.
    2. Useless.
    3. Misleading.
    4. Low I.Q. Politicians.
    5. Fake not Real.
    6. Hypocrites
    7. Feudalistic Ideologies.
    8. Party of No.
    9. Warmongers.

    October 23, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  6. Lanae

    GOP is toast in 2010 and 2012. They have lost every single demographic and race accept Seniors 65-up and caucasians. They lost 18-40 group, 41-54 age group. They lost hispanics, gays, blacks, asians, women. They have ran everyone away with their divisive rhetoric and fearmongering. The country is changing and they refuse to change with it so they are being led by racist teabaggers who claim they are the face of the party. They are becoming a southern regional party who can't win anywhere else. All the states they win are small red states and 1 big state which is texas, and they will eventually lose that state because of the explosion of hispanics. They are lost cause and it couldn't have happened to a deserving party.

    October 23, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  7. Progressive

    It's to be expected from a party:

    1.Void of Ideas
    2.That has no Cohesive message other than "NO"
    3.Never follow on the promises/platform they run on

    It will continue to go lower ... if they continue this trend

    October 23, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  8. MSH, Miami, FL

    Gee, I'm shocked.....shocked, I tell ya!

    October 23, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  9. David

    One word to describe this poll....HOGWASH! The government-run media has now resorted to distorting poll numbers, over-sampling to support a pre-determined outcome and phrasing questions in such a biased manner that even political campaigns would be embarrassed. Ladies and gentlemen...let's do something unique here...think. If more than 70 percent DISAPPROVE of the job of the Democratic Congress, is it even logical to suggest that Democrats have a higher degree of support? Is that why Bob McDonnell will be the next Governor of Virginia and Chris Christie the next Governor of New Jersey? Both Republicans in states carried by the Democrats. I just want to know what flavor of Kool-Aid these people are drinking.

    October 23, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  10. The Party of No = The Party of Nobody

    And now with their new "Conservative Party" splitting the Republican vote even more they are going to lose, lose, lose. The more that Cheney (and his bitter little girl), Palin, Limbaugh, Beck & Hannity keep running off at the mouth, the more support they lose! I love it! Keep talkin' losers . . ..keep talkin'

    October 23, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  11. JS007

    Wow, I'm surprised they are as high as they are. All the GOP has done is shill for corporations and sabotage EVERY single thing Obama, a very popular President, is trying to do. Even Bush wasn't 100% wrong, so it's obvious that the GOP puts politics and special interests above the well-being of the America people.

    October 23, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  12. Dave

    We need a third party that is trully conservative. The GOP has become liberal lite.

    October 23, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  13. Nick Reynolds

    Hmmm . . . So this is what a CNN blog looks like.
    Lots of Maobama votes in the house.

    Yeah those Bush years were really terrible. Lots of jobs and economic growth and all those terrorist attacks that were foiled. Yep, those were some tough times. That BOOSH, he shore wuz EVIL!!!

    Good things ol' Barney and Nan took over congress in 06 so they
    straightened things out. Boy things are really great now!!

    Go Maobama!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 23, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
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