Gallup: ‘Democratic Party Image Dips, GOP Ratings Stable’

By Susan Jones | May 17, 2017 | 9:45am EDT
Despite recent Republican controversies, the Democrat Party took more of hit in its favorability rating than the GOP did.

(CNSNews.com) – Neither the Democrat Party nor the Republican Party are popular with Americans, but a new Gallup Poll indicates that the rating for Democrats has slipped five points since November, while the low rating for the Republican Party remained about the same.

The May 3-7 Gallup poll asked Americans whether they have a favorable or an unfavorable opinion of each party.

Forty percent of Americans said they view Democratic Party favorably, down from 45 percent in November. The Republican rating dropped one point, to 39 percent this month from 40 percent in November.

The decline in Democratic Party favorability is mostly a result of lower ratings from self-identified Democrats, Gallup said. And both parties’ ratings are below their historical norms.

Gallup notes that historically, Democrats’ ratings usually exceed Republicans' ratings -- by six percentage points, on average.

The implications, according to Gallup:

Americans are quite negative toward both of the major political parties at this time. Trump's unpopularity and the GOP's challenges in governing a divided nation have done little to weaken the party's poor image further. But those same factors have also done little to cast the opposing party, the Democrats, in a more favorable light.

If anything, the Democratic Party's positioning appears weakened, largely because its own supporters now hold a less positive view of the party. That could indicate Democrats are frustrated with the party's minority status in Washington.

Not since 2003 through 2006 have Democrats failed to control the presidency, House of Representatives or Senate. Prior to that, Democrats had control of either Congress or the presidency for more than 50 years.

Next year Democrats will have a chance to change their minority party status in the federal midterm elections. Midterm elections are often a referendum on the president, so Democrats' prospects for a strong showing are enhanced by Trump's low approval ratings.

However, if Democrats cannot improve their party's image between now and November 2018, it may hinder their ability to regain some measure of power in Washington.

The Gallup poll is based on telephone interviews conducted May 3-7, 2017, with a random sample of 1,011 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. The margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.

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