A recent poll from Gallup has the Republican Party with the lowest approval rating on record since Gallup began tracking party-approval ratings in 1992. Only 28 percent of Americans have a favorable view of the GOP, which is down 10 points from September. Some 27 percent of Republicans polled view their own party unfavorably, double the number for Democrats. Gallup says that “The Democratic Party also has a public image problem – although not on the same elephantine scale as that of the Republican Party,” since their favorability numbers dropped four points to the Republicans’ ten.
However, this does not necessarily mean that the public opinion war has been won by Democrats. When it comes to the specific issue of the budget battle, a Pew Research poll shows that Americans are still divided fairly evenly when it comes to which party should concede – 44 percent for Republicans and 42 percent for President Obama – in order to open the government again.
The Pew poll also shows that four out of ten Americans believe that the debt limit can be met by the government and there will be little to no economic consequences. This is despite warnings from the US Treasury secretary and other financial news media outlets.
Also, the Pew poll shows that less than half of the Republicans surveyed believe that the Tea Party minority within the Republican Party is given “too much attention.” Even though many respected Conservative pundits, such as Charles Krauthammer, have criticized the faction in recent days, mostly personified by Sen. Ted Cruz.
In an interview with George Stephanopoulos, John Boehner admitted that he and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had reached an agreement in July to pass a “clean” budget resolution and denied that he was forced into this course of action by Tea Party representatives.