GOP, Tea Party Hit New Lows In New Poll
The GOP has a serious image problem.
Among the many tidbits in the new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll is a new indication that the Republican Party’s days of public disfavor are far from over:
According to the poll, 49% hold a negative view of the Republican Party — its highest negative rating in the survey since 2008. (In fact, it’s been higher than 49% just once in the entire history of the NBC/WSJ poll.) Only 26% have a positive view of the GOP. By comparison, the Democratic Party has a net positive rating, with 44% holding a favorable view of the party and 38% holding an unfavorable one. And the conservative Tea Party movement, which took off in Obama’s first year as president, also finds its popularity at an all-time low in the poll, with an upside-down fav/unfav of 23%/47%. What’s more, just 14 percent of adults approve of Congress’ job (which is near the all-time low in the poll), while 81 percent disapprove (which is close to its all-time high). By the way, most of the recent negative movement for the GOP is among core Republicans. The GOP was already viewed very negatively by Democrats and indies; it couldn’t really get much worse with those two groups. So this latest shift for the GOP is due to the fact that a growing number of core Republicans were not happy with how the party handled the fiscal cliff.
A 49% negative rating. That means that nearly half of the country views the Republican Party negatively. Now, obviously, American politics is cyclical is likely to change at some point, but that’s not going to happen unless and until the GOP gets its act together. Part of that includes finally coming to recognize the fact that the party has been out of step with the nation for some time now. It started, in reality, during the Bush Administration and reached its height with absurdities such as Congressional interference in the Terry Schiavo matter. Since President Obama has been in office, it has taken the form of extreme partisanship and a belief that everything the President does must be opposed as if it were the onset of tyranny. The Republican Party’s Obama Derangement Syndrome is worse than Bush Derangement Syndrome ever was, and it has resulted in a situation where it’s essentially impossible to get the nation’s business done. This, of course, is the primary reason why many voters have soured on the GOP in recent years.
Of course, the reasons that Republicans are dismayed with their own party are different from the reasons that Independents and Democrats have a negative opinion of the party. For them, the Fiscal Cliff deal was a sign of surrender by the House and Senate GOP Leadership. For them, the no-surrender attitude of Tea Party zealots like Michele Bachmann is the exact strategy that the GOP should be following. In reality, of course, it’s that exact strategy that is largely responsible for the fact that the GOP as a whole is held in such low esteem, especially by Independent voters. If the Tea Party strategy is what the voters wanted, then Republicans would have done far better in the 2012 elections than they actually did.
The GOP is in a rather difficult position right now. If they listen to their base, the party is likely to be pulled in a direction that further isolates it from the voting public as a whole. However, the more they try to move the party in a direction that will appeal to a wider variety of voters the more likely they are to stir up the passions of their base and thus result in primary challenges that end up pushing the party further to the right. It’s a perfectly vicious little circle, but the GOP will have to find a way to fix it otherwise this spiral that they are in is just going to continue.
Doug, Drew, Tsar, JKB, Jenos, Florack…
That’s your Republican Party today.
Pathetic by any measure.
It’s the NRA binding that is hurting them this week.
The discussion before the election was:
You are seeing it.
They are doubling down on the crazy.
So now the discussion is:
Um, not quite. The GOP has a serious reality problem.
I think this is true… and the only thing I can see saving them in the near future is serious Dem overreach. This is clearly possible – it’s happened before. Overreach (hard to define, of course… more of a we know it when we see it thing) can happen when a Party wins a lot. Assuming the Dems keep winning most elections (I assume the 2014 mid-terms will help the GOP), the chances for overreach rachet up.
This then creates an opportunity for the other party to move to the center and pick up a lot of disaffected leaners from the other side. The Dems have done this to the GOP recently. The GOP could theoretically do the same in the future.
The problem they have right now is that the mushy middle is fairly comfortable with the Dems (and the progressive left alternates between outrage and depression). There doesn’t seem to be a big window of opportunity for the “RINO” wing to do what the DLC did for the Dems right now.
I think it’ll happen, though.
The question is what happens to the crazies? Do they stick around and just get marginalized the way the leftier-than-thou types are by the Dems? Do they form a splinter party (TEA!)? Do they check out of electoral politics?
Now, as a Democrat, my hope is that the Dems refuse to provide such an opportunity. This means caution, which some view as weakness or betrayal. It means having and stick to a “long game.”
You forgot James, in many ways he is the most disappointing of them all.
A seemingly literate and thoughtful man that will nonetheless support any wingnuttery so long as it emanates from the GOP
@TheColourfieldb: Thats a little harsh. James doesn’t support the crazy coming out of the GOP, he supports the GOP despite all the crazy coming out of it. There’s a difference — mostly just hand-wringing at this point.
James has made it clear he votes party line , he has to own it.
What I find surprising is how well the GOP does in elections, despite the fact that half the country has a negative opinion of the party.
The GOP really does have a hold on the media, and has generally done an excellent job of setting the boundaries of debate, and their candidates do a better job of selling themselves as “independent” than their lock-step voting would tend to suggest.
Also, too. Gerrymandering. But just to get in the position to gerrymander requires creating a massive cognitive dissonance in the electorate between the dislike of the GOP and the grudging acceptance of GOP candidates.
Something that Doug’s analysis misses is the issue of Gerrymandering and how it’s also contributing to the GOP’s long term problem.
On the one side, as Doug noted, you have base revolts. And to make matters worse, the Conservative Media Complex is increasing turning against the “inside the beltway” GOP. As others have said, everyone’s doubling down on crazy.
On the other side you have the fact that the current GOP — at least in the house — is “artifically” staying in power due to the drawing of district lines. Which means that instead of being cast into the wilderness and forced to rebuild, they can continue “status quo” and, at least in the short to mid term, remain in power.
I think the real question is what happens when the GOP loses the 2016 presidential election cycle.
At that point there will have been seven elections since the end of the Cold War, and the GOP will have lost the popular vote in six of those seven (though winning the presidency in two of the seven because of the 2000 Supreme Court decision).
@TheColourfieldb: There were certain nominees for President that he wouldn’t have voted for. That said, he might have abstained (or gone 3rd party) rather than vote Obama.
I suppose that what I’m getting at is that he says he is a fiscal conservative , foreign policy realist and probably a soft social con at best.
If he actually believes in those values he can’t vote GOP as they, by their actions and words, don’t actually believe in any of that.
If he wants to go third party instead of ( traditional moderate republican) Obama then fine, make the case. Otherwise, own your vote.
It can’t go on forever though, folks.
The real question facing the country politically right now is the no information voter that drove Obama to victory both times. Will this vote go away without Obama on the ballot?
Maybe they can try to repair their image with black voters by holding their retreat at a former slave plantation.
Actually, that was their way of reassuring their base.
Picking up on Refer Janders above, it’s not “image.”
The GOP doesn’t have an “image” as a whites-only party, it is a white’s only party.
It doesn’t have an “image” as homophobic, sexist and often racist, it is all those things.
It doesn’t have an “image” as out of touch with the modern world, it is out of touch.
Frank Luntz will not fix this with some magic phrase. The GOP is a dinosaur staggering to its cold, cold death.
The problem really is that thanks to gerrymandering, we can’t vote them out, so it really doesn’t matter that their image in the country at large sucks. Their constituents like them, so there.
One danger I see here is sectionalism. There is one part of the country-the South- where Tea Party Republicanism reigns supreme, and then there is the rest of the country, where they are popular in pockets. Dunno how that dynamic will play out long term.
One thing is clear: The Republican surge in 2010 and the subsequent redistricting was a disaster for the country-the equivalent of the country shooting itself in the a$$. It will take a long time for us to recover.
That’s true in more than a metaphorical sense–the GOP isn’t just white, it’s OLD and white.
Unless the GOP devises a way to attract younger voters, it will quite literally die into irrelevance.
That poll tells me that quite few people lied to the pollster and are masking their like for the Tea Party goals because the label has a stench these days. People like identify with a winner and right now, even though most republicans support tea party goals, it’s the label they want to avoid.
Mike Reynolds you also once wrote about the wingnut party: “not all republicans are racists, but most racists are Republicans”.
Bingo! Isn’t’ this what we are really seeing? The last remnants of the 60s cultural warriors who never accepted the civil rights movement, anti vietnam war protesters, the Great society, affirmative action, women’s and gay rights, the Green movement, alternative energy….christ I could go on for another 500 words.
They are a collection of white, angry, ignorant anti intellectual buffoons stuck in 1957.
We have to drag them into accepting smoking causes cancer, that a black President was really born in Hawaii, that the planet is warming, that tax cuts to rich people does not stimulate job creation or growth…again, I could go on for another 1000 words.
The USA is like a runner in a marathon carrying a 50 lb. backpack labelled “dumbshite born again white southern gun freak paranoids”….it has kept us back and held up progress as we have to fight the same political wars over and over and over again.
The gerrymander and FOX news have kept this cohort going for far too long. However, hopefully their influence is finally on the wane.
The born again gun freaks are not solely to blame.
Everyone who votes for the party that caters to them bears some responsibility. Even if their precious feelings rebel at being lumped in with that crowd. Policies enabled by votes are what matters, not labels and images and feelings.
Do any voters actually self-identify as “Tea Party?” In 2013? It has always struck me as a term used to describe the racist, anti-intellectual elements of the party and the issues that matter to them, but that is NOT the entire party as much as many of you would say.
It is a deeply flawed party and I may have to escape it soon, but the anti-Republican sentiment expressed by OTB’s comments section is incredibly vitriolic and ignores that the Democratic party also has extremist elements (though I grant the extreme elements of the Republican party seem to have been running most of the show for some time). Suggesting that anyone who votes for ANY Republican (and that’s almost the level we are getting to here) is complicit in the poor decisions by elements of the party (such as the manner in which they approached the fiscal cliff issue) is unfair.
Dissnenting voice again. Concerning the statement by The Q, and quoted approvingly by Swbarnes2:
One may wish to tally just how much sheer intolerance is contained in it.
“Born again” is direct, orthodox Christian doctrine, straight from the Gospel According to John. Let’s insult Christians and Christianity. It’s only the predominant religion in the country. Why not?
White: A majority of the U.S. Population, at least at this time. Let’s associate them with freaks, and say they are paranoid, a form of mental illness.
Southern: Yes, they lost the Civil War. We can insult them for all eternity thereafter, can’t we?
Gun: Apparently meaning gun-owning, a very sizable part of the population, though I do not have the exact statistic handy. Large or small, let’s insult them all.
The Republican Party has problems, huge problems in my opinion, but representing the people and values of middle America is not one of them.
@stonetools: I love the rich vision of gerrymandering backfiring on the Republicans.
@Justinian: Hey Jenos #13 (or whatever), how’s it going?
What is “middle America,” Justinian? Is it a Pell Grant-receiving college student in Greeley, Colo.? Is it a gay couple getting married in Des Moines, Iowa? Is it a young Hispanic family in Las Cruces, N.M.? Because right now, the Republican Party doesn’t represent any of those people – and, in fact, its policies explicitly attack all of them.
If you define “the people and values of middle America” as the political positions favored by older white conservative men… well then, “middle America” is a dying demographic well on its way to electoral irrelevance. Build a party atop them at your peril.
I will answer your question (immediately above) as well as I can. My views are my own, not necessarily those of the Republican Party, or any other party.
Before proceeding, I would like to make a distinction. It has been noted that there are two kinds of conservatives in this country: principled conservatives (think Cato the Elder translated to the present age) and corporate conservatives (who just do the bidding of the corporate interests that are funding them). I will speak only to principled conservatism.
I think you are right that if the Republican party does not change, it is doomed. Already there has been talk of a new conservative party that can shed all the baggage that the current Republican Party brings with it.
In my opinion, the principled conservatives have allowed themselves to be overtaken by two things: (1) the corporate conservatives, and (2) doing things in the negative rather than in the positive. For example, it is hardly credible to oppose federal welfare for the poor when one has just handed out lavish federal welfare to the rich. Also, doing things in the negative causes conservatism to be seen, as you put it, as an “explicit attack” on people. Republicans seem to be better at explaining what they are against than what they are for.
Let me take up the cases you mentioned one by one.
Case 1: The Pell-Grant Receiving Student in Greely, Colorado The answer, to me, is to return to federalism. It is not optimal, at the least, to have this person’s higher education dependent on so financially unstable a thing as the current U.S. Government (in case you haven’t examined the latter’s finances lately). Thus, we would go back to the older system: the State of Colorado would decide whether this person received higher education at public expense, and would do it through a system that the State Legislature created, controlled, and funded. State Legislatures have no enthusiasm for things that are dictated by others, such as Washington. They built marvelous universities in every state of this Union. Higher education at public expense is the province of the State Legislatures, not the Congress, if the enumerated powers doctrine has any life left in it (and I realize that, as a practical matter, it doesn’t).
Notice that this proposal comes across as closed-fisted unless a similar appeal to federalism is applied across the board. No subsidies to specially connected businesses, and so forth down the line.
Case 2: The gay couple getting married in Des Moines, Iowa The Institutes of Justinian plainly say that natural law is that which nature teaches even to animals, such as the union of male and female, which we call marriage, and the raising of children. The Courts of this country are simply unaware, apparently, of how much judicial precedent is overturned by the entire idea of homosexuals getting married.
But, to the positive. Just witness what has happened to the words “gay” and “queer” in this country. It is now an expression to say “That’s so gay” as an insult to a behavior. The word queer, which didn’t have the best reputation to start with, took a downhill tumble when it became co-opted by the homosexual community. Say what you like, the word “gay” has forever lost its utility to mean mirthful or brightly-colored.
Now, after homosexual marriage is made legal, how many years will we have to wait before we see people avoiding it because of its association with homosexuality? “That’s so gay!” people will say, and they will be right.
Case 3: A young Hispanic family in Las Cruces, New Mexico In this case, it depends on citizenship. Are these people citizens of the United States, or of Mexico? At least to me, conservative values place a high premium on citizenship. Loyalty is a two-way street, and if a country is not loyal to its citizens, its citizens are unlikely to be loyal to it. If the Hispanic family are U.S. citizens, then we can wish them well, to have jobs in this country, and to reside here in peace. If, though, they are unlawful aliens, then they have no right either to live here nor to work here, and should move to the country of their citizenship. There they have a right to live and to work.
To put it mildly, there are fewer jobs in the United States than there are people in the World. If Americans must compete with the entire world population for jobs in this country, they are doomed. Their only hope is for jobs to be reserved for citizens. Citizenship has its privileges (the privileges and immunities of citizenship are expressly acknowledged by the Fourteenth Amendment, for example), and only by protecting these privileges can a bond of loyalty be formed between the people and the government of this country.
There! A personal manifesto on the topics brought up.
As I see it, the Republican Party cannot (1) oppose money for things like Pell grants within a comprehensive scheme of financially and constitutionally sound system, and so appears (justly) to be just trying to cut federal government benefits for the poor. The Republican Party cannot (2) explain why marriage for homosexuals is contrary to very deeply embedded civil law (to say nothing of religious). The Republican Party cannot (3) explain how Americans Need Jobs, and how the job markets of this country need to be reserved for them. Instead, it gladly hands over jobs to foreign labor by supporting an alphabet soup of visa programs, all to please their corporate sponsors.
I’m off to bed now, but I’ve answered your question, though at greater length I’m sure than you were expecting.
Shorter Justinian: State’s Rights, Homophobia, and bigotry towards Hispanics…now there’s a winning strategy for the GOP…
@Justinian: Thus, we would go back to the older system: the State of Colorado would decide whether this person received higher education at public expense, and would do it through a system that the State Legislature created, controlled, and funded. State Legislatures have no enthusiasm for things that are dictated by others, such as Washington. They built marvelous universities in every state of this Union.
My kingdom for an Edit button!
Don’t forget being overtaken by religious conservatives which helps make the party doubly inflexible.
Most Christians are not “born again”.
I am white. I am not insulted.
I have many friends south of the Mason Dixon line from Texas to Alabama. They are not insulted.
I own guns. I have many friends who own guns. Only a few of them are insulted and I do so at every opportunity.
I think your mistake is in thinking you are representative of “middle America.”
Firefox has the edit button. You get five minutes after posting to edit.
In reply to Gromitt Gunn, who wrote:
Someone has said that the thing about democracy is that it has never actually been practiced. The same might be said of federalism. John Adams (or was it John Quincy Adams?) proposed that Congress create a National university. It didn’t make its way past Congress, but it shows that Adams, at least, was not very strict in his interpretation of enumerated powers.
But memory can be selective. In the 1890s and 19-aughts, the legislatures of several states, notably Michigan, Indiana and North Carolina, funded at public expense universities to be equal to anything in the Ivy League so as to break the cultural hegemony of New-England over the rest of the country. (College professors, textbook authors, lawyers, judges, bureaucrats and others wielding substantial influence in society all came from top-notch universities, and before that time New England had a monopoly on it. The state legislatures broke that monopoly.)
The States would never have done such a thing, the States could never have done such a thing, were it not for the rights that the Declaration of Independence declared American states to have in its concluding paragraph. Yet States Rights are explicitly derogated by another blogger on this page.
Back to the original issue. The actions of the federal government in the 1800s did not bankrupt it. The same cannot be said about the current situation. I see no way for the federal govenment to remain solvent except for it to return to at least a sensibility of federalism. It can do only so many things, and those things are its enumerated powers. It simply lacks the capacity to assume the jurisdiction of both the federal govenment and the state governments simultaneously.
The fable of Aesop on the matter is still true. The federal government cannot be all things to all people, and will go bankrupt if it continues to try to be.
If it is not Christians, nor Whites, nor Southerners, nor Gun-Owners, then just who is supposed to be insulted by the phrase
Some might say that the American concept of “equal protection under the law” trumps the Institutes of Justinian. And they would be right.
Ah, you must mean all those principled conservatives who dug in their heels when Bush wanted to attack Iraq, a nation that did not threaten ours.
In reply to anjin-san, who wrote:
Actually, I don’t. I must be referring to those principled conservatives who are the only ones in Congress who say to military spending “We just cannot afford all this.” Liberals in Congress can think it all they like, cannot say it, because they are stymied by supporting spending on many other things, and besides they are much more vulnerable than conservatives are to charges of being “soft on foreign policy” and “not supporting the troops.”
* * * * *
The Second Iraq War was the antithesis of fiscal conservatism—and many other value systems as well. Bush Jr. used the war to justify the wildly unbalanced budgets he proposed to Congress. “We are a nation at war,” etc. Congressmen then said the same once the unbalanced budgets were passed. The amount of the deficit exceeded the entire expense of the war, but the members of the mainstream media, innumerate as they usually are once numbers reach to the billions or trillions, did not notice the discrepancy.
Even a general in the military complained that the officially stated rationale behind the war changed every two weeks. All told, the war, in my opinion, was just cover for both the President and Congress to spend profligately. So far as I can tell, it is the only reason for the war that holds up under scrutiny and fits all the facts.
If you’re not a gun freak paranoid, then obviously it’s not referring to you, and you have no reason to be insulted.
If the public on government handouts are in the majority conservatives who believe in the constitution,national borders and financial responsibility will be locked out. There will be consequences to improvident behavior and this is not a crazy speaking.
The low information people that voted for Obama TWICE are more educated than the high school GED holding retired social security dupes that voted for Romney and McCain. Their Faux watching idiots salivate every time another race baiting epithet is spouted by their Tokyo Rose puppets. You people amaze me in your reliance on KNOWN LIES. The republicraps and their teabag fools think they have the answer, remove regulations, stop abortions AND STOP WOMEN FROM BIRTH CONTROL, REMOVE REGULATIONS FROM WALL STREET. and allow corporations to pollute our air water and land. I am sure you want that to happen, IF YOU ARE TOTALLY INSANE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Do tell, who are these people?