Gallup: Dems' favorability dips, GOP's stabilizes

Thursday, May 18, 2017
Michael F. Haverluck (

GOP and Dems duking it outA new nationwide poll reveals that the increasingly unpopular Democratic Party dropped 5 percentage points in favorability since its presidential nominee Hillary Clinton lost November’s election, while President Donald Trump’s Republican Party stabilized in ratings.

“Americans' opinions of the two major political parties are now similar after the Democratic Party's ratings slipped to 40 percent – from 45 percent last November – while the Republican Party's image is essentially unchanged at 39 percent,” the new Gallup Poll reported.

Party poopers

These numbers do not warrant bragging rights for either party.

“Both parties are below historical average ratings,” Gallup’s Jeffrey M. Jones pointed out.

And this current lack of confidence in American politics is by no means a recent trend.

“Throughout last year's contentious presidential election campaign, U.S. adults rated neither party highly,” Jones continued. “In fact, more rated each party unfavorably than favorably. But Democrats maintained a slight edge in favorable ratings, including 45 percent to 40 percent in Gallup's prior measurement, conducted last November after Donald Trump's victory in the 2016 presidential election.”

But despite much criticism pointed at Trump – especially with top Democrats’ relentless anti-Trump campaigning – the Republican Party has not lost ground since the election … unlike the Democratic Party.

“So far, Trump's unpopularity as president has done little to erode Americans' views of the GOP – perhaps because they were already quite negative,” Jones noted. “However, Americans are now less positive toward the Democratic Party than they were last fall.”

When Democrats were singled out and asked about their opinion of their party, it was found that they have grown measurably more disillusioned.

“The decline in Democratic Party favorability is mostly a result of lower ratings from self-identified Democrats,” Gallup divulged. “In November, 83 percent of Democrats had a positive opinion of the Democratic Party; now, 77 percent do. Independents are also slightly less positive toward the Democratic Party, while Republicans' negative views of the opposing party are steady.”

Those who pledge allegiance to the GOP are slightly more optimistic about their own party than their blue counterparts.

“Currently, 79 percent of Republicans have a favorable opinion of their preferred party,” Gallup pollsters found. “Thirty-three percent of independents and 9 percent of Democrats rate the Republican Party favorably.”

General advantage – Dems

However, Gallup found that when it comes to the general population of American adults, they usually rate the Democratic Party higher than the Republican Party – a trend the pollsters found since they began asking adults to give them a favorable/unfavorable rating.

“Over time, Democratic Party and Republican Party favorability have averaged 50 percent and 44 percent, respectively, indicating that both parties' current ratings are below their historical norms,” Jones shared. “The historical statistics also make clear that Democrats' ratings usually exceed Republicans' ratings -- by six percentage points, on average.”

No matter who was president over the past two decades, the Democratic Party was generally viewed with higher esteem by the average American.

“The Democrats' image was significantly more favorable than Republicans' in 1998 and 1999, when the GOP led impeachment proceedings against President Bill Clinton, in 2006 through 2009 near the end of the George W. Bush administration and beginning of the Barack Obama administration, and from late 2012 after Obama's re-election through early 2014,” Jones added.

There were certain periods of time, however, when the Republican Party did not lag behind Democrats with the average American.

“Some notable eras when Democrat and Republican favorability ratings were similar include in 2002-2003, after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and in 2010-2011 after the GOP won control of the U.S. House of Representatives amid frustration with Obamacare,” Townhall reported from the findings.

Gallup noted that the typical favorability advantage enjoyed by the Democratic Party is attributed mostly to its lead in party identification among American adults.

Losing it in the middle

Democratic Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who served as chief of staff for former President Barack Obama during his first term, expressed why he believes the Democratic Party is losing favor with the American public.

He recently expressed that the Democratic Party is doing a terrible job in appealing to the middle class.

“We don’t talk about and fight for the middle class like we are,” Emmanuel told Politico. “We believe we’re for them, but they don’t – if they don’t hear we’re for them, then we got a problem.”

The Left-leaning mayor went on to contend that the way top Democrats have handled things of late, one would think they have contempt for the middle class.

“It’s not just for the string of policies – it’s also a set of values that respect who they are in their lives,” Emanuel continued. “We come off and can come off as a party disdainful of them.”

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