GOP Primary Fight Hurting The GOP
A new Pew Research Study seems to indicate that the Republican nomination fight is hurting the image of the party among the independent voters it will need to attract when the General Election comes around:
As the fight for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination unfolds, more Americans say their impression of the GOP field is worsening than improving. Those views, however, have not resulted in a better view of President Barack Obama at this point.
By a margin of two-to-one, more say that their impression of the GOP field is getting worse (31%) than getting better (14%). Half (50%) say their impression remains the same as they learn more about the Republican candidates.
About one-in-five (19%) say their impression of Obama has improved as they learn more about the Republicans. About as many (21%) say that the GOP campaign is worsening their impression of the president. Most (58%) say the Republicans have had no effect on their feelings about Obama.
The negative margin in evaluations of the GOP field rises to three-to-one (29% worse vs. 10% better) among independents, according to the latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press and The Washington Post, conducted Dec. 1-4 among 1,008 adults. Still, more than half (55%) say their impression is unchanged.
On their face the numbers don’t look that bad. After all, the majority of voters, and of independents, say that their overall impression of the GOP hasn’t changed as a result of the primary fight and we really don’t know what impact any of this will have on voting decisions eleven months from now. Nonetheless, these elections are often won and lost at the margins, and painting the GOP as extreme is clearly going to be part of the Democratic game plan next year. If all they have to do is point to the circus we’ve been going through these past few months, it may not be hard for them to plant that idea in the heads of enough voters to make a differences in a swing state or two.