New polling from the progressive consortium Navigator Research finds nearly seven in 10 Americans now disapprove of the way congressional Republicans are handling their jobs amid their protracted battle to elect a House speaker. And for the first time in Navigator’s polling, congressional Republicans are underwater with Republican voters at 45% approve - 49% disapprove.
The 4-point net negative among Republican voters also represents a 23-point net negative shift since just last month, when Republican voters approved of the job congressional Republicans were doing by 19 points, 56% - 37%. Wow, what a difference one month bolstered by a solid week of Rep. Jim Jordan treachery makes.
Additionally, nearly three in four Americans (72%) report having heard something negative about Republicans in Congress in the past few days, a 20-point spike from 52% in August. Apparently the sight of the House floor devolving into intraparty fisticuffs isn't going over so well.
That stunningly negative report card from voters is also showing up in Civiqs tracking of the Republican Party brand. Voters currently hold a 39-point net negative view of the party at 25% favorable - 64% unfavorable—the GOP's lowest ratings since early February 2021, when they hit the exact same favorable numbers weeks after Joe Biden took office following the MAGA-driven Jan. 6 insurrection.
Normally, the Democratic Party's favorables at 17 points underwater wouldn't be anything to crow about, but comparatively speaking, Democrats come out smelling like roses at just 38% favorable-55% unfavorable. Credit Republicans for setting a gobsmackingly low bar.
Okay, so let's pretend for one second that Republicans manage to pull out of this self-inflicted death spiral and elect a speaker in the next week or so. One of the biggest tests they will face is getting the government funded by the mid-November deadline.
Americans are already dreading a potential shutdown—and a plurality knows who to blame. By a 58-point margin, Navigator found a significant share of Americans think a government shutdown would negatively impact their lives, at 5% positive impact vs. 63% negative impact.
In the event of a shutdown, 36% say Republicans would be to blame, 31% say Democrats, and 27% would blame both parties equally. To Democrats, that may not sound great, but it's 7-point shift toward blaming Republicans since late September, when a 36% plurality said Democrats would be to blame.