PRINCETON, NJ — Americans’ opinions of the Republican Party have improved to the point where now more have a favorable than unfavorable opinion of the party. The last time more Americans viewed the GOP more positively than negatively was in 2005.
These results are based on a USA Today/Gallup poll conducted Jan. 14-16.
For the early part of the 2000s, Americans had a net-positive image of the Republican Party. That changed in 2005, as Americans soured on the Bush administration over the ongoing Iraq war, the federal government’s response to Hurricane Katrina, and rising gas prices, among other issues. After the 2006 midterm elections, which saw Americans remove the Republicans as the majority party in Congress, the Republicans’ ratings were 35% favorable and 58% unfavorable.
The Republican Party’s image remained negative over the next two years as the economy worsened, except for a 47%-47% reading after the party’s well-received national convention in 2008, which ended days before the financial crisis intensified. Just after Americans elected Barack Obama to replace Bush later that year, the Republicans’ net-favorable score was -27 (34% favorable, 61% unfavorable) — the worst Gallup has measured in this trend dating to 1992.
Americans’ opinions of the Republican Party improved in late 2009 and early 2010 before falling back in a May 2010 poll, but have steadily improved since then.
Democratic Party Image Divided, but Improved
Americans’ current 46% favorable and 47% unfavorable rating of the Democratic Party is among the worst for Democrats since 1992, but is an improvement from last year.
Read the Rest at GOP Image Net-Positive for First Time Since 2005.