The latest CNN/ORC poll finds that the Republican Party has never been more disliked than right now. The government shutdown fallout continues as 64% of Americans have an unfavorable view of the GOP.
The CNN poll shows that the Republican Party has been badly damaged by their government shutdown. Speaker of the House John Boehner’s unfavorable rating has gone from 48% to 55% in less than a month. Mitch McConnell’s unfavorable rating increased from 39% to 42%. Ted Cruz’s unfavorable rating grew from 36% to 42%. John McCain’s unfavorable rating stayed unchanged at 42%. The real damage occurred to the Republican Party itself. The unfavorable rating of the Republican Party has reached its highest level ever in the history of the question. The Republican Party’s unfavorable rating has been steadily increasing since March of this year. The GOP’s unfavorable rating has increased from 59% to 64%. Only 30% of those surveyed had a favorable opinion of the Republican Party.
This poll also revealed that both parties aren’t being blamed for the government shutdown. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s unfavorable rating fell 5 points from 45% to 40%. Democratic House leader Nancy Pelosi’s unfavorable rating fell from 51% to 47%, and the Democratic Party’s unfavorable rating fell from 52% to 51%.
The message is simple. Republican unfavorable ratings all went up due to the shutdown. Democratic unfavorable ratings went down. It’s clear where the American people have decided to place the blame. What these numbers mean for the Republican Party is that the government shutdown isn’t gone and forgotten. Republicans have been obsessed with coming up with a magic tweak that will allow them to win elections with the same ideas that they are losing with right now. The government shutdown has pushed the Republican Party beyond needing a rebrand.
Republicans don’t need to repaint the party house. They need to burn it down and start over. The idea that there was no political harm caused by the shutdown is absurd.
Since CNN began asking the question nearly 22 years ago, the Republican Party has never been as unpopular as they are right now. The havoc that Republicans unleashed on the American people during the month of October is not going to be soon gone or forgotten.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor, who is White House Press Pool, and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association