October 22nd, 2013
05:04 PM ET
9 months ago

CNN Poll: GOP & tea party unfavorables at all-time highs

Washington (CNN) - A new national poll provides more evidence of the political hit the Republican Party, the tea party movement, and House Speaker John Boehner took over the government shutdown.

According to a CNN/ORC International survey released Tuesday, 64% of Americans say they have an unfavorable view of the GOP, an all-time high dating back to 1992 when CNN first asked the question. Only three in 10 say they hold a favorable view of the party.

Fifty-six percent say they have an unfavorable view of the tea party movement, another record high in CNN polling. Only 28% say they see the 4-year-old grassroots conservative movement in a positive light.

 The Democratic Party's 43%-51% favorable/unfavorable ratings are basically unchanged from late last month, just before the start of the shutdown.


No. 2 House Democrat says easy for Republicans to lose control of the House

 The poll was conducted Friday through Sunday, following the end of the 16-day government shutdown, which was sparked by a push by conservative Republican lawmakers in Congress to attach provisions dismantling or defunding the national health care law to must-pass bills to fund the government.

The Democratic-controlled Senate, with the backing of the White House, refused to consider any bills that weakened the Affordable Care Act, which is President Barack Obama's signature domestic achievement. The standoff resulted in the first government shutdown in 17 years.

 Speaker Boehner's image takes hit

 Boehner told House Republicans at the end of the shutdown that "we fought the good fight. We just didn't win."

A defeated GOP wants to unite, move on, fight another day

 But the poll suggests he's not winning the hearts and minds of a majority of Americans. Boehner's unfavorable rating now stands at 55%, up from 48% in late September.

 "This is the first time the Speaker has been disliked by a majority of Americans," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.  "Boehner's counterpart on the Senate side, Majority Leader Harry Reid, actually saw his unfavorable rating drop a bit in the aftermath of the shutdown."

 Boehner's favorable rating dropped nine percentage points among Republicans and eight points among conservatives.

 Cruz's favorable ratings tumble

 The poll indicates Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell, who along with Reid negotiated the deal to end the shutdown, with a 23% favorable rating and a 42% unfavorable rating. McConnell's favorable rating is down four points from before the shutdown, with his unfavorable numbers up three points.

McConnell, who is up for re-election next year and is facing a conservative primary challenge, has a 41%-22% favorable/unfavorable rating among Republicans, but his numbers drop to 34%-36% among conservatives.

McConnell plunged 11 points among Republicans and ten points among conservatives since late last month.

Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who was one of the ringmasters of the push to couple the dismantling Obamacare to funding the government, saw his favorable rating fall seven-points, to 23%, with his unfavorable rating jumping six-points to 42%. Cruz 's favorable rating dropped 12 points among Republicans and ten points among conservatives.

Cruz: Senate Republicans are 'single-most damaging thing' for the GOP in 2014

 What about Hillary Clinton

 Hillary Clinton kept an extremely low profile during the shutdown crisis. Her ratings stand at 59%-37% in the new poll, basically unchanged from May, when CNN last asked Americans opinions on the former secretary of state and possible 2016 Democratic presidential hopeful.

More than nine in 10 Democrats see Clinton in a favorable light, as do Independents by a 53%-42% margin, but more than seven in 10 Republicans have an unfavorable view of the former first lady and Senator from New York.

 The poll was conducted for CNN by ORC International October 18-20, with 841 adults nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.


Filed under: CNN/ORC poll • Hillary Clinton • Republican Party • Tea Party • Ted Cruz
soundoff (352 Responses)
  1. bibleverse1

    If the Republicans were creating jobs for the young they could get elected. But they choose to ship entry level jobs to China and leave the young with working at McDonlads. In the 50s, 60s, 70s a man of 19 or 20 could get a job with a good wage and move up in the company. Today you need 5 years experience and a degree for entry level.

    October 22, 2013 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  2. vic , nashville ,tn

    3 years back my political guru told this “ One day Tea party will hijack GOP and try to implement similar to Taliban rules because they can’t stand Obama in white house”

    October 22, 2013 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  3. Darrel

    Where is polling on Harry Reid? His pol must be low as well.

    October 22, 2013 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  4. Mangomano

    That is hard to believe. Other than women, hispanics, the "47%", federal workers, gays, and the lower and middle classes, who else doesn't like the GOP?

    October 22, 2013 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  5. Starstuff

    "Unfavorable"? gee I wonder why?

    October 22, 2013 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  6. se19

    I am confident that the American electorate will know what to do in 2014. If the GOP and Tea Baggers want to inflict any more harm on American you better do it quickly - while you still hold your office. This next election is already in Cruz Control for the Democratic Party. I can't wait.

    October 22, 2013 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  7. GMan

    Ever since the once-proud GOP hitched its wagon to the Tea Party and the right wing lunatic fringe, it started a slow descent into oblivion. Until it divests itself of the failed ideology of ultra-conservatism and returns to a more moderate agenda, it will continue to circle the drain. They need the Republican Party of Eisenhower and Dirksen, not the hateful, destructive GOP we currently see that belongs to Boehner, Bachmann, Santorum, McConnell, Perry, and Palin.

    October 22, 2013 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  8. GMan

    The Right is the equivalent of Benjamin Button in American politics. Regressing to the point of hardly being able to stand, uncertain of their life lived backwards, afraid of losing the capacity for real relationships with those with whom they've grown familiar.
    They are, in short, devolving toward oblivion.
    What took so long?

    October 22, 2013 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  9. Jeff

    Republicans absolutely sicken me.

    October 22, 2013 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  10. Randy, San Francisco

    Voters need to carry over their anger into the 2014 and 2016 elections.

    October 22, 2013 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  11. Raj

    If Tea party leadership believes they can win elections, they should separate from GOP and run as a third party candidate. I bet, they will not get more than single digit votes in the nation. And then we should just shut them down. A single digit following and we are giving them all this publicity, time and efforts? It is really up to GOP leadership to throw out Tea Party people and let them contest elections on their own. That will do lot more good to their party and the nation.

    October 22, 2013 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  12. Silence DoGood

    Last I read Tea Party demographics looked like mostly " white, male, married, older than 45, regularly attending religious services, conservative". The group of people fitting this description even 4 out of 6 matches is a pretty small minority. So the polling is no surprise.

    While they just protested, it was, at best, thought provoking. But now that they are making it clear they want the whole country to be THEIR way or they will attempt to hold us hostage, the majority will do the right thing and vote them back to small town and cult centers.

    October 22, 2013 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  13. Mark

    Ive got to laugh. I bet these forums are filled with people under 30 commenting with their wealth of knowledge and experience. I can see all of the bad decisions made by voters the last 40yrs and wonder what its going to be like in another 40.

    You people keep blaming one party when both have gotten us into this mess. While the GOP has done its damage, the Dems have gotten the upper hand by brainwashing you people into thinking there is a solution other than getting dirty and working hard for it.

    All I can say at this point, dont blame me. I voted for Perot and Nader. You people are fools to keep doing the same thing over and over every year and expecting a different result.

    October 22, 2013 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  14. Scott

    Which is misleading, the article, because ,many Grass Roots GOP activists think the GOP is being too moderate and thus resulting in an ever expanding liberal/socialist state. So yes, liberals are expected to be unhappy. Republicans are unhappy too, because the leadership and reps are not listening to their constituents.

    October 22, 2013 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  15. JohnRJohnson

    I'm sure the "unfavorables" are much higher than this for the Tea Party. Polls like this rarely reflect what the vast majority of the country is feeling. Only a very small, fanatical and very noisy fringe approve of the Tea Party and Ted Cruz, and most of them are in Southern states which long for the days of Jim Crow and segregation. A disgraceful bunch, they would take us all back to the mid-19th century with them - back when the Bible trumped scientific fact.

    October 22, 2013 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  16. bspurloc

    with Boehner Cruz declaring... "Winning!!" 'Tea Blood!'!

    October 22, 2013 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  17. Mike

    Unfortunately most politicians do not bother themselves with citizen polls. Their number$ come from an entirely different direction.

    October 22, 2013 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  18. GOP = Greed Over People

    Not too worry, GOP, you will never again win a national election, but you will still have your "purity" and "chri$tian values"!

    October 22, 2013 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  19. Steve S

    You really have to wonder, what Mental Institution or Day Care Center, that the GOP/Flea Party finds their candidates??

    October 22, 2013 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  20. Jim

    We will see won't we. The news media is so unbelievable now it is a tragedy.

    One side or the other does little except try to promote propaganda which is exactly what this story is doing.

    News no longer exists. I am ashamed of you all.

    October 22, 2013 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  21. Rita

    Ted Cruz ruined his chances for anything....he looks llike Nixon (the worst President ever) acts like a bully, and the rants of the Tea party arei tedious and foolish....Romney instituted the Affordable Health Care Act and where was the outcry then? Their hatred of Obama is becoming like a broken record – over and over again, with no solutions.....As an smart woman who works two jobs, I'll never vote for any republican again.

    October 22, 2013 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  22. Big_D

    The GOP is looking at raising gas taxes for everyone while still saying the rich pay too much in taxes.

    October 22, 2013 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  23. Jason

    It doesn't matter what Cruz's unfavorable rating is in a poll. They apparently love him in TX, which is really the same thing with many Tea Party favorites. Even if Americans on average can't stand them, they are in districts that love them, love the obstructionist behavior, etc. Tea Party will not be able to be a national or presidential party, and they are train-wrecking the GOP so maybe the GOP will grow a backbone in dealing with them.

    October 22, 2013 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  24. M'lynn

    So what else is new with the treasonous fools? Let's face it, if Obama said the sky was blue they would shriek it's fuchsia and call for impeachment.

    October 22, 2013 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  25. BigDaddy1231

    People look at Ted Cruz's drop in the poll and gleefully wash their hands expecting him to be ousted at the next election. The problem is that folks like Ted Cruz, that vote in his district, don't care about polls and firmly believe that the course of action undertaken by Cruz is the correct one. Bottom line; he played to his constituency, not the demographics of America and that will get him back into office. Will it bring national favor, most likely no. Most of America is very tired of the extreme of either ends of the political spectrum.

    October 22, 2013 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
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