Poll: Majority of Republicans say GOP leaders are taking the party in the wrong direction
HERE‘ the story from the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll:
Part of the public’s grouchy political sentiment may reflect an expressed desire for greater comity than Washington customarily exhibits; 68 percent say it’s more important for political leaders to cooperate on important issues than for them to stick with their positions (26 percent).
But there are limits; notably, support for cooperation drops to 48 percent among “very” conservative Americans, a strong voice within the GOP, a result that marks the limitations on their leaders’ range of movement.
Indeed, as noted, Democrats and independents who lean toward the Democratic Party are generally pleased with their leaders’ efforts; 72 percent say Democratic leaders are taking the party the right direction. (Easier to say, perhaps, when your party holds the White House.)
It’s a far different story on the Republican side, where half as many partisans and Republican-leaning independents, 37 percent, say their leaders are taking the GOP in the right direction. Fifty-two percent instead say their own leaders are headed the wrong way, up 20 points from last August (when the White House seemed winnable) and a majority for the first time in six poll results dating to 1994.
That disaffection is apparent in another measure: Just 21 percent of Americans in this survey identify themselves as Republicans, matching the fewest since November 2009. GOP allegiance has dropped from an annual average of 31 percent in 2003 to annual averages of 23 or 24 percent the past five years straight.
Then again, just 31 percent say they’re Democrats; more, 37 percent, identify themselves as independents. Politically unaffiliated Americans have outnumbered Democrats and Republicans alike almost continuously for four years, a record, by far, in ABC/Post polls dating to 1981.