Americans' favorable rating of the Democratic Party dropped to 41% in a late March USA Today/Gallup poll, the lowest point in the 18-year history of this measure. Favorable impressions of the Republican Party are now at 42%, thus closing the gap between the two parties' images that has prevailed for the past four years.Gallup last measured party images in late August/early September of last year. At that point, the Democratic Party enjoyed an 11-point favorable image advantage over the Republican Party. Now, the favorable ratings of the two parties are essentially tied.
The images of the two major parties have particular significance in a midterm election year. For example, the favorable rating of the Democratic Party exceeded that of the Republican Party by 52% to 37% just prior to the 2006 midterm elections, in which the Democrats gained 31 House seats.
These data are particularly troubling for DCCC chairman Van Hollen. As explained in yesterday's post, his strategy hinges on the GOP's poor image.
Meanwhile, Fox News finds that the president's job approval is underwater: 43 percent approve to 48 percent disapprove. Republicans have a 43-39 percent edge in the generic ballot. And 39 percent of Republicans are "extremely interested" in the November election, compared with 24 percent of Democrats.