Almost a quarter of Republicans have a newly unfavorable view of the GOP
A broad 63% of Republicans say they are "angry" at both parties
Republicans think Trump is moving them in the right direction -- not the GOP
Republicans have had it.
After more than eight months of unified government – control of the White House plus both chambers of Congress – the Republican Party still hasn’t kept many of its major promises to its base.
Efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare have stalled over and over and over, and finally, seem to have fizzled, at least for now. Sweeping tax reform is still in its infancy as leaders in both chambers again try to unite their caucuses around a plan that can pass. And efforts to cut spending during budget and debt ceiling negotiations ended with a deal with Democrats.
So perhaps it comes as no surprise that Republicans nationwide are not exactly thrilled with the Republican Party. That’s not to say Republicans are souring on President Donald Trump. In fact, it’s the opposite. The latest CNN poll showed his approval rating among Republicans at a robust 85% – with six in 10 Republicans saying they “strongly” approve of his job performance so far.
But now the GOP leadership in Congress – and the Republican Party itself more broadly – are finding their supporters across the country growing more and more frustrated with the way their united GOP government is, well, governing.
These five poll numbers show how things have changed direction for Republicans over the last eight months.
1. 63% of Republicans say they are “angry” at both parties
The number of Republicans upset at both parties has climbed dramatically in the last six months. Back in March, only 38% of Republicans said they were angry at both parties in a CNN/ORC poll at the time, while a virtually identical 37% said they were just angry at Democrats.
Not anymore. In a new CNN poll released on Sunday, about one in four Republicans has added the GOP to their “angry” list. More than six in 10 Republicans now say they’re angry at both parties, while the number upset with only Democrats has plummeted to just 14%.
2. Almost a quarter of Republicans have a newly unfavorable view of the GOP
The number of Republicans with a favorable view of their own party has dropped from 88% to just 66% in the last six months in new CNN polling out this weekend. Three in 10 Republicans (31%) say they have an unfavorable view of the party.
The data gets even worse among Trump supporters: only 56% of them say they have a positive view of the GOP – down from 76% in March. Overall opinion of the Republican Party among all Americans has slipped to just 29% – its lowest mark since CNN started asking the question back in 1992 and just a percentage point worse than their grade amid the government shutdown in 2013.
3. A majority of Republicans disapprove of GOP leaders in Congress
Approval of Republican leaders in Congress overall has dropped from 39% in January to just 20% now, and much of the movement has come because Republicans have turned their back on their party’s leadership on the hill.
At the beginning of the Congress, a broad 77% of Republicans and 72% of Trump supporters said they approved of the work the GOP-led Congress was doing. Now? Not so much.
Only 39% of Republicans and only 31% of Trump supporters say they back the GOP leadership in Congress, which means a majority of both groups disapprove of their party’s legislative leadership.
Of course, it’s worth noting that just saying the word “Congress” prompts a significant chunk of Americans to hold their nose. (Not since 2002 has a majority of Americans said they approve of what Congress is doing.) But this still marks stark unpopularity only eight months into a new unified government.
4. Republicans are souring on Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have been trying to unite their caucuses around GOP legislative goals – but that hasn’t meant their base is totally happy with them.
Ryan, the more well-known of the two legislative leaders, enjoyed a broad 73% favorable vs. 9% unfavorable rating among Republicans back in January. But that number has dropped to 66% in April and just 58% now. Among Trump supporters, it’s even worse: his favorability has dropped to just 49% now.
McConnell started with lower name recognition among Republicans: moving from 33% favorability in January up to 51% among Republicans in April – before falling again to just 31% after a series of high-profile failures to pass health care reform and his unfavorable rating among Republicans almost doubled.
5. Republicans think Trump is moving them in the right direction – not the GOP
In the feud between Trump and Congressional Republicans, it’s pretty clear whose side the voters are taking.
When asked for thoughts on the GOP congressional leadership, a majority of Republicans said they were taking the party in the wrong direction. Yes, that’s right. A majority of the GOP says their own party’s leadership in Congress is heading the wrong direction.
On the other hand, eight in 10 Republicans (79%) say Trump is moving the party in the right direction. (Democrats, it’s worth noting, are also far from unanimous on this, but a majority of 52% does say congressional leadership is moving them in the right direction.)
The CNN Poll was conducted by SSRS by telephone September 17 to 20 among a random national sample of 1,053 adults. The margin of sampling error for results among the full sample is plus or minus 3.7 percentage points; it is larger for subgroups. Previous polls from CNN and CNN/ORC have similar sample sizes and margins of error.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story mischaracterized the amount of Republicans who disapprove of GOP leaders in Congress. It’s a majority of Republicans.