Majorities say the Democratic Party is open and tolerant, cares about the middle class and is not “too extreme.” By contrast, most Americans see the GOP lacking in tolerance and empathy for the middle class, and half view it as too extreme.
Nonetheless, the Republicans more than hold their own with the Democrats in views of which party can better handle major issues. The Republican Party runs even on the economy and immigration and holds double-digit leads over the Democrats on terrorism, foreign policy and taxes.
President Obama’s job approval has ticked up in recent months, to 48% currently, and his rating dwarfs the 26% approval measure for the leaders of the new Republican Congress. Yet the public is divided over whether Obama or Republican congressional leaders should take the lead in solving the nation’s problems: 40% say Obama while 38% say GOP leaders. That is virtually unchanged from a few days after the midterm elections in November.
The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted Feb. 18-22, 2015 among 1,504 adults, finds that both parties are viewed by majorities as having strong principles. Somewhat more say this about the GOP (63%) than the Democratic Party (57%).