Gallup Poll: Americans favor Democratic Party over GOP
Going into the 2018 mid-term elections, Americans may be souring more on the Republican Party. Latest Gallup poll results show Americans favor Democrats over the GOP by nearly 10 percent.
The latest results from Gallup’s annual Governance poll, conducted September 6-10 shows Americans rating the Democrats as their favorable party (44%) than the Republican Party (36%).
Democrats have held an edge in favorablity ratings for most of the past three years. However, both parties were tied in May, and the changes in party ratings since May are a function of higher ratings of the Democratic Party among Democrats and lower ratings of the Republican Party among independents.
Democrats’ eight-percentage-point advantage in favorability matches the party gap for much of 2016, from January until August — shortly after the July 25-28 Democratic National Convention. In September 2016, during the fall presidential campaign, the party’s edge slipped to three points and averaged four points from then until the current reading.
Americans usually rate the Democratic Party better than the Republican Party. One recent exception was November 2014, when the Democratic Party favorable rating was 36% after Republicans exceeded expectations by winning control of the U.S. Senate in the midterm elections. The record-low Republican favorable rating was 28% in October 2013, during the GOP-led partial government shutdown.
Both parties’ current favorable ratings are comfortably above their record lows. However, they remain below historical ratings. Gallup assessed Americans’ opinions of the major U.S. political parties for the first time in 1992 using the question format. Since then, an average of 51% Americans rated the Democratic Party as their favorite party; while an average of 44%, Americans rated republicans as their favorite.
“Democrats are currently more positive toward their party (89% favorable) than Republicans are toward theirs (80%). Moreover, Republicans’ favorable rating of the Democratic Party (13%) is slightly higher than Democrats’ rating of the Republican Party (8%).”
Although both sides’ ratings are worse than usual, the Democratic Party’s current eight-point advantage is in line with the historical average party gap of seven points. The Democratic Party enjoyed larger leads over the Republican Party on many occasions including during the 1998 impeachment of President Bill Clinton, and in 2006 through 2008, the final years of George W. Bush’s presidency.
Democrats’ favorability rating of their party increased from 77% to 89% over the past four months. There has been little to no change in independents’ and Republicans’ ratings of the Democratic Party. Meanwhile, Republicans and Democrats’ ratings of the GOP have been stable since May. The overall decline in GOP favorability ratings is large because independents are less positive toward the party.
Party identifiers rate their party much more positively than they rate the other party. However, Democrats are currently more positive toward their party (89% favorable) than Republicans are toward theirs (80%). Moreover, Republicans’ favorable rating of the Democratic Party (13%) is slightly higher than Democrats’ rating of the Republican Party (8%).
Independents’ higher favorable rating of the Democratic Party (34%) than of the Republican Party (25%) means that the Democratic Party has a more positive image than the GOP among all three groups, the political independents, party supporters and party opponents.
Democrats have a better chance of having a strong 2018 election cycle if they go into the year with a more positive public image than Republicans, similar to 2006 and 2008 cases. If the parties are rated similarly next year, as they were this spring, Democratic leaders would have reason to be nervous, as the parties had comparable favorable ratings in several recent years when Republicans fared well in elections, including 2002, 2004 and 2010.
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