GOP Now Seen in Positive Light

Posted January 27, 2011 at 10:46am

More Americans view the Republican Party positively than negatively for the first time since 2005, a new Gallup poll found.

Now at 47 percent favorable and 43 percent unfavorable after a successful election cycle, the GOP’s favorable rating was at 35 percent after the 2006 elections and 34 percent after the 2008 elections — both good years for Democrats.

“For the early part of the 2000s, Americans had a net-positive image of the Republican Party,” Gallup’s Jeffrey M. Jones wrote. “That changed in 2005, as Americans soured on the Bush administration over the ongoing Iraq war, the federal government’s response to Hurricane Katrina, and rising gas prices, among other issues.”

Meanwhile, the public is split on its feelings about Democrats, with 46 percent holding a favorable opinion of the party and 47 percent unfavorable. But that is an improvement from March 2010 — shortly after President Barack Obama signed the health care reform bill into law — when just 41 percent viewed Democrats favorably.

“The two parties’ ratings are now generally similar, suggesting they are starting off on relatively equal footing as a Democratic president and Senate, and a Republican House of Representatives attempt to govern the nation over the next two years,” Jones wrote.

The survey was conducted of 1,032 adults from Jan. 14-16 with a 4-point margin of error.