If you listen to the MSM coverage of politics, you’d get the impressive that voters despise Democrats and love Republicans. The only problem is that even likely voter models show that’s not the case.
Check out this graph from this post at Pollster.com:
While it’s true that the Democratic brand has a net negative favorability rating, the GOP brand is twice as worse off than it was in 2006, which is why they tried to rebrand their ideology under the Tea Party in the first place in the worst marketing failure since New Coke and Crystal Pepsi.
Another blogger has noted that the net favorability gap between the minority and majority parties in Congress has been a stronger indicator of actual midterm elections than the midterm generic congressional ballot.
PPP noted in a poll that even conservative Republican voters, those “uber-excited” to vote this November at the prospect of GOP regain control of Congress wants, as the new GOP’s majority’s first order of business, is to entirely replace its leadership!
Only 21% of Republicans think the party should retain its current Congressional leadership if the party gains control with 57% saying it should be replaced.
When to comes to John Boehner and Mitch McConnell in particular the Republican base isn’t too impressed either. Just 33% want Boehner to become Speaker with 34% saying it should be someone else and 33% unsure. For McConnell the numbers are even worse. Only 27% would like to see him as Majority Leader with 33% definitively wanting someone else and 40% not sure.
One interesting thing about these poll numbers is that it’s actually the moderate wing of the GOP that’s even more eager for change than the conservatives. For instance 37% of conservatives support Boehner for Speaker but only 25% of moderates do. And 31% on the right wing of the party would like to see McConnell become the top guy in the Senate but only 18% of moderates do.
Even more troubling news for the GOP’s hope for a major takeover come November? It’s not just Gallup showing that the enthusiasm gap is tightening.
According to a Politico Battleground poll that came out last week, they found that in the Midwest Democrats enjoy a five-point advantage on the generic ballot question. But on voter enthusiasm:
Ninety-five percent of those surveyed who usually vote Republican said they were extremely or very likely to vote in November. For usual Democratic voters, 87 percent said the same.
That’s an eight-point gap two months before the election. However, on just those who said they are extremely likely to vote that gap drops to four points, as page 5 of Democratic pollster Celinda Lake’s memo notes, that same gap was fourteen points in April. Regardless, on both measures, this polls shows the same thing Gallup is showing… a rapid closing of the “enthusiasm gap.”
This is not just one poll. Every poll has consistently showed that the Republican brand is nothing more than fingernails to the chalkboard even when compared to the Democratic brand.
It’s no surprise, then, with both major parties at net negative views that Gallup reports today that third-parties have never been more attractive to voters in seven years.
Given these numbers, it’s hard to predict what the turnout is going to be and who they’re really going to vote for. That’s why the Quinny poll and others have ridiculous turnout models. They’re based on outdated projections of the “enthusiasm gap” and conflate displeasure with the governing party as support for the opposition. Voting ultimately always becomes a choice, and the damaged Republican brand, if history is any guide, may temper GOP gains this fall.
But regardless of what happens in November this much is clear—Americans have never had a lower opinion of the Republican Party as they do now and that just might be enough to give angry voters pause.