The big news is that the Republican brand has improved dramatically from where it was right after the government shutdown.
The new poll found Republicans regarded positively by 31 percent of respondents and negatively by 41 percent. The net -10 is nothing to brag about, of course, and it is slightly worse than the Democratic Party’s image or the president’s. But the president’s negatives (46 percent) are higher than the Democratic Party’s (42 percent) or the GOP’s (41 percent).
The Republican Party’s net image was much worse (-18) in March of this year (27 percent positive/45 percent negative) and a mind-boggling -31 in the October 25-28, 2013 NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey (22 percent positive/53 percent negative), conducted right after the government shutdown.
The GOP’s image is now close to where it was immediately before the 2012 presidential election (-7: 36 percent favorable/43 percent unfavorable) and before the 2010 midterm balloting (-7: 34 percent positive/41 percent negative).
The party’s positive image is up 9 points since October, and its negative image is down 12 points, when many voters blamed the party for the government shutdown.
What have Republicans done to improve the party’s image so dramatically in the past 10 months? Not much.
Basically, they have stopped doing really stupid things and allowed the public to focus on the president and the bad news that seems to arrive on TV each day. They are not threatening another shutdown before the elections, chose not to risk a GOP bloodbath by fighting over an immigration bill before the election, and have stopped attacking each other.