Stu Rothenberg explains why people are misreading the polls on the relative popularity of Republicans and Democrats
. . . But the survey showed that while 31 percent of independents had a favorable view of the GOP, 30 percent had a favorable view of the Democratic Party. And while 60 percent of independents had an unfavorable opinion of the Republican Party, 61 percent had an unfavorable view of the Democratic Party.
How could independents have the same view of the two parties and yet the Republican brand be about 10 points worse among all respondents?
The answer is clear in the data: Republican respondents had a much more negative view of their own party than Democrats had of their party.
A stunning 29 percent of Republicans had an unfavorable view of the GOP, while only 14 percent of Democrats had an unfavorable view of their party. Only 67 percent of Republicans had a favorable view of the GOP, while 85 percent of Democrats had a favorable view of the Democratic Party. . . .
Unfortunately for Democrats, from a strategic point of view, Republicans’ battered image of their own party isn’t likely going to be a serious problem for the GOP in the fall elections. That’s because, when the midterms roll around in November, Republican voters will vote for Republican nominees, and Democrats will vote for Democratic nominees. That’s what almost always happens. . . .