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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 1:20 pm 
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Before you can say "the media," look at how the public has perceived the GOP. The problems started long before Obama was even a candidate for the 2008 election. In 2005, both parties were about equally popular (with Americans in general). In early 2006, the GOP's popularity dipped below 40% and hasn't really come back up since, which probably partially set the stage for slaughters in the 2006 elections as well as in the 2008 elections.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/112015/GOP-Takes-Another-Image-Hit-PostElection.aspx

PRINCETON, NJ -- The Republican Party's image has gone from bad to worse over the past month, as only 34% of Americans in a Nov. 13-16 Gallup Poll say they have a favorable view of the party, down from 40% in mid-October. The 61% now holding an unfavorable view of the GOP is the highest Gallup has recorded for that party since the measure was established in 1992.

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By contrast, the public's views of the Democratic Party remain as positive after the election as they were just prior to it. More than half of Americans, 55%, currently hold a favorable view of the Democratic Party and only 39% an unfavorable view, highly typical of views toward the Democrats all year.

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The Republican Party's image deficit began well before 2008. In December 2005, the Republicans and the Democrats were rated about equally, with just under half of Americans viewing each party favorably. Shortly thereafter, the Republicans' favorable rating fell to 36%, and has since struggled to cross the 40% threshold. The Democrats' favorable rating gradually improved during 2006, and has not fallen below 51% since the spring of that year.

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The Republican Party is notably less well reviewed by members of its own party than the Democratic Party is by its own: 78% of Republicans have a favorable view of the GOP, versus 91% of Democrats viewing their own party favorably. Fewer political independents rate the Republican Party (32%) than rate the Democratic Party (47%) favorably.

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Where to Go From Here?

The Republican Party heads into the New Year with its brand tattered by the election after decisive losses in the 2008 presidential and congressional races. Such a defeat inevitably leads to introspection in party circles about its message going forward.

Gallup addressed this issue in the recent poll with a question asking, "Over the next few years, would you like to see the Republican Party and its candidates move in a more conservative direction, a less conservative direction, or stay about the same?"

Most rank-and-file Republicans (59%) want to see the party move in a more conservative direction and another 28% want it to remain about the same. Only 12% would prefer to see the Republican Party become less conservative.

Neither party can win the presidency or majority power in Congress without attracting substantial support from political independents. But right now, independents are not offering any clear guidance about what they want from Republicans. About a third say the party should become more conservative, an equal percentage say it should become less conservative, and just under one-quarter say it should stay the same.

Democrats -- whose views about the Republican Party are far less relevant to its future -- are most likely to favor its moving in a less conservative direction.

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Bottom Line

The Democratic Party is enjoying an extended stretch of popularity with Americans that started in 2006, and is likely to continue as long as its new party leader, President-elect Barack Obama, continues to inspire high confidence ratings -- and eventually job approval ratings -- from the American people.

After suffering major blows in the election, the Republican Party is experiencing its worst image rating in at least a decade (similar to the public relations hit it took after the Republican-controlled House of Representatives impeached Bill Clinton in December 1998). Previous Gallup analysis linked the party's decline to the downward track of President George W. Bush's job approval ratings in 2005 and 2006. However, the latest drop in the Republican Party's favorable rating, from 40% to 34% (with much of that drop coming from Republicans), is not associated with a corresponding decline in Bush's job approval score; rather, it most likely reflects Americans' reaction to the Republicans' big losses on Election Day.

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With Bush no longer around to symbolize the Republican Party, the GOP will soon have an opportunity to redefine itself. The initial guidance from rank-and-file Republicans is to tack to the right -- returning to core Republican principles, as many Republican thought leaders are currently advocating. However, with only about a third of independents wanting the party to be more conservative, it is unclear how much that approach might help to expand the Republican base.


Survey Methods

Results are based on telephone interviews with 1,009 national adults, aged 18 and older, conducted Nov. 13-16, 2008. For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points.

Interviews are conducted with respondents on land-line telephones (for respondents with a land-line telephone) and cellular phones (for respondents who are cell-phone only).

In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 1:47 pm 
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I think that there is a negative impression of the GOP that they need to work to overcome, but I also believe that many are tired of the Republican solutions and want to try the Dems for now no matter the GOP might do. I believe the liberal solutions will need time to be shown to be flawed before the country will consider looking at the GOP in a serious way.

In the meantime, the GOP needs to get its act together so that when the next crisis/challenge occurs they don't flinch or wimp out as they have been doing for a number of years. They blew the last chance with the bailout situation IMO.

In particular, they need to settle whether they need to be more conservative or not and stop waffling about that. Obviously, I believe the GOP needs to go back to being more conservative. In the short term that may cause more of a decline, but I believe in the long term they would be better positioned to clean up the Dems' mess when the country gets fed up with the liberal approach.

If they decide to be more moderate they will lose more of their base and they will not be much of an alternative to the Dems anyway.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 2:11 pm 
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The GOP lower poll numbers this month is because of the higher than average popularity of the Democrat Party.

Obama has all the attention right now, and there is alot of focus on him being the "Democrat"

Obviously if you think one party is doing a great job, then the other is not going to be viewed as favorably.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 2:59 pm 
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But what about the fact that the polls have shown a great unpopularity - less than 40% favorable - of the GOP as far back as early 2006?

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 6:29 pm 
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Quote:
If they decide to be more moderate they will lose more of their base and they will not be much of an alternative to the Dems anyway.




You are right and we saw that with Senator McCain. He was considered by many almost a democrat. I don't think many folks saw a clear choice between McCain and Obama and Obama was the one with the great inspring speeches.

But, with the media's total bias towards Obama, I wonder if ANY Republican could really have won this time. Maybe it is a blessing that Senator McCain won the nomination and that he DIDN"T choose Governor Huckabee as his running mate. Now Governor Huckabee has a clean slate and so many saying "if only"......


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 7:33 pm 
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nrobyar wrote:

But, with the media's total bias towards Obama, I wonder if ANY Republican could really have won this time. Maybe it is a blessing that Senator McCain won the nomination and that he DIDN"T choose Governor Huckabee as his running mate. Now Governor Huckabee has a clean slate and so many saying "if only"......


Huckabee could have and very probably would have won.

* He would have held on to North Carolina, Virginia and Indiana - all narrow Obama wins with rural leanings and a heavy Evangelical population (39 electoral votes)

* He probably would have won Iowa (7 electoral votes). He was the other winner of the Iowa Caucus and didn't tick off Iowa farmers in the same way that McCain did.

* He probably would have won Florida (27 electoral votes). To start with, McCain almost won Florida - came within 250,000 votes out of more than eight million cast. But Florida has a million and a half black voters and many hispanic voters and Huckabee would have done considerably better than McCain with both of these groups. Also, Obama got 73% of the vote of those concerned with health care as their most important issue (8% of voters). Obama got 56% of the votes of the 62% of voters who thought the economy was the most important issue. Huck had answers for both of those concerns whereas McCain really did not. I'll bet he would have won the state.

* Ohio was close enough that I think Huck could have taken that state as well (20 electoral votes). Lots of voters concerned with the economy. Most (69%) voters in the state felt that McCain "shares my values." Let's not forget that Bush's 2004 win in Ohio came in part from conservative blacks who supported Bush at levels higher than the national average (which was also mirrored in Florida that year) - Huck would have gotten this support as well.

Those are the states that I think Huck would have had a decent chance of winning. That, with nothing else changing, would have made the electoral vote count 272 to 266 in favor of Obama. But I honestly think he might have done even a little better than that. If the Rush Limbaughs/Ann Coulters/Sean Hannity types - the ones who are complaining the loudest about Obama - hadn't nuked Huck's campaign, he clearly would have had the best chance of winning.

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