For some weeks now, we have been predicting that the blame for the US Government shutdown – and any future debt default – will be laid squarely at the feet of the Republicans, and it is only because they are living in their own very badly advised bubble (just as they were at the last Presidential election) that they cannot see the approaching disaster that their behaviour is creating.

This article on recent poll results makes it very clear. Undeniable.

tea party childNo one in their right mind would want to see America become, in effect, a one party state. But that’s the way they’re headed, unless someone in the Republican leaderships starts to bang a few heads together and show some foresight – starting with isolating and ignoring the Tea Party representatives in their midst.

Will the GOP listen before it’s too late? I doubt it.

By Steve Benen at the Maddow Blog
Wed Oct 9, 2013 3:14 PM EDT

Have congressional Republicans been unpopular before? Yes. Have they been this unpopular? Not in recent memory.


This Gallup chart shows the parties’ favourability ratings over the last 21 years, and you’ll notice that sharp drop on the right side of the image. That shows GOP support falling off a cliff.

Republicans were deeply unpopular during the impeachment crisis in late 1998, but they’re in even worse shape now. Indeed, the angle that surprised me was comparing Republican favourability now to the party’s standing the last time GOP lawmakers shut down the government — they’re faring much worse in 2013.



And this is the image showing unfavourable ratings. Note, dislike for Republicans was also very strong at the end of the Bush/Cheney era, but once again, it’s worse now.

It’s obvious from the results that Democrats aren’t winning any popularity contests, but you don’t need to be a professional pollster to see which party is in better shape.

As for whether there are any practical consequences for poll results like these, I think there are.

The 2014 midterms are still a year away, and the prevailing political winds are bound to change direction – more than once – between now and then. What’s more, many Republican districts have been shielded from a voter backlash by gerrymandering.

But when one party’s public standing reaches a generational low – as opposed to, say, a minor downturn – it’s bound to have an effect. For one thing, it matters to the parties’ recruiting efforts, and there’s already some evidence to bolster this point. For another, it affects fundraising, and we’ve seen anecdotal evidence on this front, too.

What’s more, it starts to create a ceiling of sorts. As Republican popularity reaches new depths, it becomes that much more difficult to recover. If the GOP were to somehow add another 10 points to its favorability rating, it’d still be in horrible shape — and there’s nothing to suggest a 10-point boost is on the horizon.

It’s far too early for serious speculation about the midterms, but if Republicans are trying to position themselves for major setbacks in the next cycle, they’re off to an excellent start.

  1. You hit the nail squarely on the head.


  2. Richard Ember says:

    No mention of the Master’s ratings, I see. Down at ‘W’ levels; the difference being that W had 90% of the press against him whilst Master has 90% of the press trying to sanctify him.

    Not sure what the answer is, really. Thanks to some delicious gerrymandering only 1 seat in 5 is really an election, thus giving 80% of the members no incentive to risk upsetting their electorate and move outside of their own dogma and negotiate.

    However well the liberal press is spinning this situation and slewing the blame the need to negotiate falls on both sides. The Dems aren’t blameless in this.


    • Hmmm: ignoring your teasing and replying seriously. The point is that the Republicans are MORE to blame than the Democrats, We said the public would pick it and sheet home the blame to the GOP (and that therefore the GOP were being foolish) and we were right.

      What we have been witnessing is an internal struggle for the soul of the a Republicans, with striking similarities to, for example, Labour’s struggles against the Trotskyite Militant faction in the UK in the 70s and 80s.


    • And the point about Obama’s poll ratings, of course, is that he doesn’t need to worry about them any more – he’s not up for re-election – unlike the Congresspeople. By the way you make a very good point about the in-built gerrymander. It’s a perversion of democracy and an utter disgrace. You may have noticed we mentioned it as one of three key reforms required at the end of our previous article.


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