The poll has the ominous title (for Republicans) Frustration with Congress Could Hurt
Republican Incumbents pdf
This poll is full of bad new for Republicans with the central point being the public is painfully aware of the Republicans' radicalism and intransigence over the past year. An image the Republicans in congress is very unlikely to alter as Republicans are trying to extort more concessions using the threat of another government shutdown.
This section of the poll jumped out at me as especially significant over the long term.
Republican Party Seen as Extreme and Uncompromising
Which party… Rep Party Dem Party Neither(vol.) Other/DK
Is more extreme 53% 33% 1% 13% =100%
in its positions
Is more willing to
work with the
other side 25% 51% 12% 13% =100%
manage gov’t 35% 41% 13% 12% =100%
Is more honest
and ethical 28% 45% 16% 11% =100%
PEW RESEARCH CENTER Dec. 7-11, 2011. Incumbent
reelection questions based on registered voters. Other
questions based on general public.
The Republican Party is taking more of the blame than the Democrats for a do-nothing
Congress. A record-high 50% say that the current Congress has accomplished less than
other recent Congresses, and by nearly two-to one (40% to 23%) more blame Republican leaders than Democratic leaders for this. By wide margins, the GOP is seen as the party that is more extreme in its positions, less willing to work with the other side to get things done, and less honest and ethical in the way it governs. And for the first time in over two years, the Democratic Party has gained the edge as the party better able to manage the federal government.
To be sure, neither party’s leadership is viewed positively right now. Just 31% approve of how Democratic congressional leaders have performed. But even fewer (21%) approve of the job Republican leaders have done. And a good deal of this criticism is coming from within the GOP base. While Democrats approve of the job their party’s leaders are doing by a 60% to 31% margin, only 49% of Republicans approve of the GOP leaders in Congress are doing, while 44% disapprove.
Reading this poll strengthens my faith in the wisdom of the American People, but we must remember these questions were asked of the general public, not registered voters. This should give us more incentive to get more people registered to vote, and get them to the polls.
The question is can this consensus view of Republicans as extreme and intransigent stand up to the tsunami of independent ads funded by anonymous donors from the 1% that will be saturation bombing the MSM through next year?