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March 23, 2007

New Poll Shows Republicans Losing Lots of Ground

A new poll from the Pew Research Center for People and the Press shows that the American public is turning away from the Republican party in droves.

Public allegiance to the Republican Party has plunged since the second year of George W. Bush's presidency, as attitudes have edged away from some of the conservative values that fueled GOP political dominance for more than a decade, a new survey has found.

The survey, by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center for People and the Press, found a "dramatic shift" in political-party identification since 2002, when Republicans and Democrats were at rough parity. Now, half of those surveyed identified with or leaned toward Democrats, while 35 percent aligned with Republicans.

What's more, the survey found the public attitudes are drifting toward Democrats' values: Support for government aid to the disadvantaged has grown since the mid-1990s, skepticism about the use of military force has increased and support for traditional family values has edged down.

The poll has a pretty tight margin of error at 2.5 percentage points. Only 3 in 10 people said they were satisfied with the way things are going in the country. Since the poll points out that the debacle in Iraq is only one reason for that dissatisfaction, the Republican party has quite a sinkhole to climb out of.

54% have a positive view of Democrats.

41% have a positive view of Republicans.

And, of course, our dear leader's approval rating is stuck like Crazy Glue at 30%. Can't wait to see how that claim of "executive privilege" works out for him.

Posted by shoephone on March 23, 2007 at 01:18 AM in National and International Politics | Permalink


Thanks for directing us to Janet Hooks' story, shoephone.

Andy Kohut: "Iraq has played a large part; the pushback on the Republican Party has to do with Bush, but there are other things going on here that Republicans will have to contend with. There is a difference in the landscape."

Yup, Andy, sure is: the landscape has up and lifted into cyberspace, where everybody who wants to can watch those moribund old fuckers like hawks. We're not just calling for adult supervision of government, we're doing it. Mighty hard news for DC.

Rahm Emanuel: "This is the beginning of a Democratic opportunity. The question is whether we blow it or not."

Oh, Rahm, Rahm, Rahm, you Democrats In Name Only have already blown it, as your "question" proves. Siddown and shuddup if you're so tired. And you ARE.

Bruce Bartlett: "There are cycles in history where one party or one movement ascends for a while and then it sows the seeds of its own self-destruction. It's clear we have come to an end of a Republican conservative era."

Not a minute too soon! Much as I hate to share any theory with a rightwinger, I've long believed that politics moves in approximately 30-year cycles. This one has finally rotted into Bushism -- a condition so extreme that, this time, it may take well longer than 30 years for the Right to recover its vitality. I hope for one of two things: either that, by the time it does, I'll personally be long past caring, or (much better and likelier yet) that We the People's ability to monitor our government only burgeons during this period, to the point where we never again see anything CLOSE to BushCo's extremes of awful governance.

Janet Hooks: "Three of 10 people said they were satisfied with the way things are going in the country, a 25-point drop in the past seven years."

Never fails to boggle me when I try to imagine persons who could observe "the way things are going in the country" these days and feel "satisfied" with that. Are they just so burrowed-into their immediate circumstances that they never look up, never watch/read/hear any word from outside, but just assume that their private situation's momentary okayness means All's Well across the board? Have Iraq, Katrina, global warming, Abu Ghraib and black-sites torture, domestic spying, tax relief for the rich, Walter Reed, the healthcare mess, and every other mess just been so many drops of water on the hot skillet of their lives? Three people out of every ten of us are perennially that out-of-it? Where are they hiding? Been a mighty long time since I ran into anybody like that . . .

Posted by: lotus | Mar 23, 2007 3:52:10 AM

There are people who never look beyond the ends of theor own noses, who equate "things going well for them, personally" with "things going well for the country." For some people, if they have an abundance of income that allows them to pay the bills, have good health care coverage, live in a nice home, drive a nice car, have a nice 401(k) and money invested for a comfortable retirement, etc., why would they need to be worried about the country? Does this mean that 30% of us are in that kind of situation, and the other 70% of us are not? Maybe.

If the GOP had made it possible to lift a significant number of people up a few rungs of the ladder, there might be more support for it, but what have they actually done? More people living below the poverty line, more people without health insurance, more jobs gone overseas, cuts in student loans - if you look at the tools that would help people better their lives and give them opportunities to improve their quality of life, you would see the GOP at almost every turn finding ways to keep them out of the hands of the people who need them the most. And what seems to be the reason for that? Simple - money. When you hear them talking about wanting to allow people to keep more of their money, what you are really hearing is, "I want mine and I don;t care if there is anything for you."

On top of these pocketbook issues, I also think people are turning away from the GOP because they have been deaf to the opinions of the people, who want an end to the war. They are no longer able to be swayed by the "give it more time" meme, or the "fight them over there so we don't have to fight them here" thing.

Republicans have shown themselves to be poor stewards of the principles of democracy - and if we can't count on them to safeguard the things that keep the democracy strong, we need to turn to people who can.

Posted by: Anne | Mar 23, 2007 5:07:08 AM

I think many of those mortgage foreclosures are happening to middle class white males who were reflexive Republicans. Now that they need a helping hand, and are coming face to face with the draconian bankruptcy "protections" enacted by the Republics (and Joes Biden and Lieberman) at the behest of the credit card behemoths, they have to be feeling pretty betrayed.

Just yesterday I was talking to a staunch Republic colleage, whom I would have said was in the 23% of "authoritarian followers." She was utterly disgusted with the blatant interference with prosecutorial independence in the USA firings (although I doubt she'd ever pull a lever that said "D").

Posted by: op99 | Mar 23, 2007 5:23:05 AM

op, if your colleague and her similars just STAY HOME on Election Day, peachy ehough.

Posted by: lotus | Mar 23, 2007 7:24:28 AM


Posted by: lotus | Mar 23, 2007 7:25:34 AM

shoe (and all), check out "So much for the ‘permanent Republican majority’" at The Carpetbagger:


Posted by: lotus | Mar 23, 2007 7:36:01 AM

Big prize offered if you find my grammar boner at 5:23.

Posted by: op99 | Mar 23, 2007 11:28:45 AM

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