Fox News’ latest polling data should alarm the Republican Party, because it shows President Barack Obama winning over Mitt Romney in a general election, the Democratic Party with higher favorables than the Republican Party, Mitt Romney with low favorables and the Tea Party in the dumps.
Here’s the data for how the public, per the Fox poll (conducted by Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R) of 912 registered voters by landline and cell), views the various parties:
Favorable VS Unfavorable:
Barack Obama 50%, 47%
The Democratic Party 48%, 44%
Mitt Romney 39%, 49%
The Republican Party 39%, 52%
Ron Paul 35%, 44%
Rick Santorum 35%,47%
Tea Party Movement 30%, 51%
Newt Gingrich 23%, 67%
Only Newt Gingrich is loathed more than the Tea Party. And while Mitt Romney has only 2% more unfavorable ranking than the President, Romney’s favorables are another story. Only 39% view Mitt favorably, while 50% view Obama favorably.
Mitt Romney’s troubles don’t end there. His unfavorables have almost doubled at 49%, with the steady descent starting in 2010 at 28% unfavorable. At the same point in time, his favorable ranking was 40% and it has remained pretty steady at 39%. As people get to know Mitt, his unfavorables rise.
With 52% unfavorables, the Republican Party is holding around the 50% disapproval they’ve suffered for over a year. Their favorable views have gone from 35% to 41% to the current 39% today. Those aren’t good numbers, but they are also not nearly as bad as they should be, given the facts.
The Tea Party’s favorables have remained pretty steady at 30%-ish, falling from 35% and 39% in 2010, but their unfavorable are brutal. In 2010, only 22% saw the Tea Party unfavorably. Today, 51% see the Tea Party unfavorably. And this is a Fox poll.
Some of the questions in this Fox poll are leading, for example, “Do you think President Obama has taken responsibility for the economy, or is he still blaming other people and circumstances?” ‘Still’ implies that it an established fact that the President has not taken responsibility for the economy but should have.
This, of course, is inaccurate. The economy started tanking in 2007, and the global melt-down of 2008 happened while Bush was still in office. The facts are that the President has been working hard to fix our economy (which is taking responsibility for it), but he has gotten little to no support from the Republican Party, which views a bad economy as a plus for them in elections. The issue here is that Fox and Republicans would like to blame Obama for the economy, and he rightly does not accept the blame for something that happened when he was not even in office. The responses to this leading question were predictably bad for the President.
Here’s the meat of this Fox poll: The question is, who would you vote for “if the 2008 general election were held today and the candidates were…” And the winner is….
Barack Obama over Mitt Romney, 46% to 42%.
It’s still early; most polling data regarding the general election is just political junkie candy for pundits and wonks. For example, just days ago several polls showed Obama losing to Romney in the general. But long term trends like the toxicity of the Tea Party are important and relevant, especially when that wing is driving the Republican Party into positions they may not be able to walk back from in the general election. And the data regarding lack of enthusiasm for the candidate indicates long term trouble for Mitt Romney.
Among those who say they would vote for Mitt, the question is asked: “Is that more a vote FOR Mitt Romney or more a vote AGAINST Barack Obama?” 40% say for Mitt Romney while 54% say against Obama.
Obama voters, on the other hand, are exceptionally more enthusiastic with 73% FOR Obama and only 23% voting AGAINST Romney.
From Fox’s own poll, we see that indeed the Tea Party is loathed and familiarity with Mitt breeds contempt more than it generates enthusiasm.
It’s not good for Republicans that Obama voters are so enthusiastic, because the Republicans need to get out the vote for the House and Senate. On the other hand, a majority of this country must still be asleep, if only 52% of them see the Republican Party unfavorably after the wars on women, legal immigrants, voting rights, healthcare, workers rights, civil rights… Let us sum the wars up with a link to the absurd legislation the Republican Party has been wasting our money on while stealing our freedoms.
The universally loathed Tea Party (aka; Koch brothers) is driving the Republican Party further to the Right, even causing Mitt Romney to announce that he is going to get rid of Planned Parenthood. No one in the party seems to be able to grab the reins back from the Tea Party extremists, not even the GOP’s “inevitable” winner for the Presidential nomination, Mitt Romney. If Mitt Romney can’t even lead his party, how will he lead the country?
If Romney doesn’t find a way to gin up some enthusiasm from his own party without alienating himself from the general electorate, he’s in trouble.