Poll finds increasing dissatisfaction in GOP field
January 30th, 2012
04:01 PM ET
3 years ago

Poll finds increasing dissatisfaction in GOP field

(CNN) - Republicans evaluating the field of potential GOP presidential nominees are increasingly negative about the current slate of candidates, according to a new poll from the Pew Research Center.

Fifty-two percent of Republican and Republican-leaning registered voters said the GOP field was "fair or poor," an eight percentage-point increase since the question was asked in early January.

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Likewise, the number of Republicans who had positive feelings about the candidates dropped. Forty-six percent rated the current field of four candidates "excellent or good," a drop from the 51% who had that response in January. The GOP field has undergone substantial change since then, with former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman and Texas Gov. Rick Perry dropping out of the contest.

Monday's poll from Pew, which was conducted in partnership with the Washington Post, is the first time since this election cycle the negative response from voters outweighed the positive. Pew began asking the question in May 2011.

When the same question was asked at this point in the nominating cycle in 2008, 68% of Republican and Republican-leaning voters rated the GOP field as "excellent or good."

The Pew poll also gauged voters' perceptions of how well candidates understood the problems of average Americans. Among Republicans, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich fared almost identically, with 61% saying Romney understood problems "very or fairly well" and 60% saying the same for Gingrich.

But among all voters, President Barack Obama had a higher rating for understanding voters' problems. Fifty-five percent of Republicans, Democrats and independents said he understood average Americans' problems "very or fairly well," compared to 39% for Romney and 36% for Gingrich.

The Pew Research Center poll was taken by phone Jan. 26-29. For the satisfaction portion, 341 Republican and Republican-leaning voters were polled and the sampling error was plus or minus 6.5 percentage points. For the understanding measurement, 1,006 adults were surveyed and the sampling error was plus or minus 4 percentage points.

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Filed under: 2012
soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Is it any real surprise? They have been bashing Obama and each other with no real new ideas. The immigration issue is something that is contested and blurs party lines so that doesn't really work well. GOP candidate don't have anything new about policy; still would cut regulation no matter how reasonable or needed it is and cut taxes despite needing the revuene to pay down old debt.

    January 30, 2012 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    Hmmph. It must be a Republican messaging problem again. The possibility that they just simply do not understand real people out in the real world will never cross their minds. Bad poll numbers always mean a messaging problem to Republicans. As Michael Steel so elonquently once put it, "People are just not listening to our message right now. We need to reach out to voters more."

    January 30, 2012 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  3. Mike

    This should not come as any surprise. The current republican congress has done nothing except effectively holding the economy hostage through manufactured crisis and obstruction.

    January 30, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  4. Steve, New York City

    Well . . . that's what we get when we allow rich lobbyists to pick our candidates and manipulate our elections – a bunch of clowns who answer only to the highest bidder (and BOTH parties are guilty).

    January 30, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  5. Bill

    They needed a poll to figure this one out? The brand is garbage, just like the candidates.

    January 30, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  6. Jules

    The GOP needs to lose the 2012 elections big time to get their party back. The candiates are just a bizarre group. Where's the normal people?

    January 30, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  7. v_mag

    "Fair to poor" is being very generous. "Crappy to OMG" might be more apt. And to think, they've weeded out the worst ones! This is the cream of the crop, folks! It doesn't get any better than this (for the Democrats, that is.)

    January 30, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  8. Max.

    Conclusion...

    Question: What is the message from the republican party to the electorate?
    Answer: They don't seem to have a message...they are ONLY bent on bashing the president without any better alternatives to what he is currently doing.

    Conclusion: On this basis, coupled with a DO-NOTHING Congress, the republicans shall surely lose to Obama by a landslide.

    January 30, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  9. WHATNEXT

    WELL HELLO TO THAT COMMENT – All this diatribe in these posts would give the casual observe with no political knowledge and a half chance of speaking english – come to that conclusion with the first caucassssssssss!

    January 30, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  10. betterdays

    Of course Obama understands average Americans' problems: More than half aren't as successful as they think they "deserve" to be, and they are pretty sure they can pin the blame on someone else for that situation. That's the problem. Simple enough to understand.

    January 30, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  11. Fla.Pete

    Hey the juries out,all the Repub candidates are insane...They ran out of their thorzine,and are babbling something about the end of days...POTUS Obama is going to an old fashion blanket bashing party,"theirs".They are going to get their heads handed to them,after a debate with the Pres.People will wake up after seeing an intellectual as Obama is and the republican babbling fools they are.They have no message to convay,nor do they really care about the poor and middleclass as Obama has.He's truelly trying to get something done,even against an obstructionist Congress,who is also at an all time low 18%...Repubs are swipping themselves out without the Dems lifting a finger,great strategy men....Keep up the good work!!!

    January 30, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  12. westward

    I wonder why. From the onset, the GOP field of candidates was commonly referred to as a 'Clown Car'. What has changed – nothing. There is not a credible national leader among them. Some people are just slow to figure that out and are catching up with the rest of America.

    January 30, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  13. Katie

    OBAMA 2012!

    January 30, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  14. Thaw

    Personally, I think that the GOP field has to be the worst group of so called politicans I have ever seen. 46% is far too high and 26% should be the number for a good or excellent rating. An embarrassment for the USA.

    January 30, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  15. Kris Craig

    And you know what, it doesn't matter one bit. The Republican base hates President Obama so passionately, so completely devoid of rational reason that they will turn out to vote for any candidate's name appearing opposite his, even if, through some bizarre twist of fate, Dennis Kucinich somehow became the Republican nominee.

    Hyperbole aside, Republican turnout will be high no matter who the nominee is. This election will, therefore, come down to turnout among the disenfranchised liberal base and moderates.

    January 30, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  16. gg

    No solutions, acting tough, do nothing, and blame the president for everything.

    January 30, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  17. Liska

    What a big DER.....but that is what happens when lobbyists and the 1 % get involved in out 'democracy'. No one with as much money and with Swiss bank accounts and business in the Caymans should be allowed near the presidency. And as far as Newt goes, he had his 15 years and he fked the dog on that....actually so did Romney. Obama 2012

    January 30, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  18. Church

    Obama winning the election is a no-brainer.
    What we need is a Democratic House with a new Speaker, not Nancy,
    if we are going to get out of the mess the Bush bunch left us with.

    January 30, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  19. Stephen in VA

    The ONLY way the GOP is going to come out of this one–and I don't think it can happen prior to November–is for them to dump the Tea Party nuts and return to simple fiscal conservatism. By pandering to the extreme right-wingers they're unable to decide on a platform that has any planks other than "beat Obama," and the Independents that they MUST woo are tired of that one. Dump the extremes, come back to the table of compromise, and regain your place as the Grand Ole Party.

    January 30, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  20. The Real Tom Paine

    Like I've said, when your best candidate is a failed, one-term governor with off-shore accounts in the tens of millions who has been running for the job for 6 years and people still don't like him, you know you are screwed. Good luck trying to spin this one. Its worse than the Dems trying to make Dukakis look tough by riding around in a tank,

    January 30, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  21. Boomer in Mo

    There are NO candidates running for president that understand what most of us are going through. No one who has been in Congress for more than one term understands either. The Middle Class is nearly gone and they not only don't know it, they don't care. They are too busy being paid off to pay any attention.

    January 30, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  22. Jariv

    Well if that is true, then why are there record votes being placed in every state ?

    January 30, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  23. Frederick Louis May SR

    I think Newt has blown a fuze and can find another one to replace it. He got kicked out of congress so why is he allowed to run for president? We have enough duds in Washington.

    January 30, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  24. v_mag

    All these guys promise to take us back in time, but I'm afraid they mean to Bush, or Reagan, or Nixon, or maybe McCarthy. I would be okay with the idea of "going back" if they would take us to the days when I was just annoyed at Republicans all the time, rather than actively hostile to them. Back before they went from Republican to Repugnant. Before they thought it was conservative to start meaningless wars, give all our money to the rich, and send the national debt through the ceiling, all the while blaming the poor and middle class. I just don't know when that was, exactly.

    January 30, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  25. sick of republican phonies

    Not even HALF of the republicans think their candidates are "good"!

    January 30, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
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