- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 18, 2014

With less than two months until November’s midterm elections, the Republican party’s image has regained the loss it took amid the partial shutdown of the federal government last year, Gallup said.

After bottoming out at a 28 percent favorable rating last fall, Republicans’ favorability among Americans has climbed back to 40 percent — close to even with the Democrats.

Americans still view both political parties negatively. Forty-two percent have a favorable view of the Democratic party, compared to a 54 percent unfavorable rating. And 57 percent view the GOP unfavorably.

But Gallup’s Jeffrey M. Jones writes that Democrats have typically had an advantage over the GOP since the question was first asked in 1992.

“Indeed, current opinions of the Democratic Party are among the worst Gallup has measured in the past 20 years,” he wrote. “The only time Gallup measured a lower favorable rating for the Democrats was 41% in late March 2010, just after Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law.”

He noted, however, that even as the GOP made tremendous gains during the 2010 midterm elections, Americans did not view Republicans any more positively than Democrats.

“As such, the Republicans may have merely benefitted from public frustration with Obama and the Democrats in 2010, rather than having been truly embraced by Americans,” he wrote. “Thus, if Republicans do well on Election Day this year it does not necessarily equate to a voter mandate for the party and its policies.”

The survey of 1,017 American adults was conducted from Sept. 4-7 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

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