The Republican Party was eviscerated in another poll, this one coming from NBC News/Wall St. Journal. The numbers are grim: 53% of the country views the Republican Party in a light that is “somewhat negative” (24%) or “very negative” (29%). That’s the highest sum in the four year history of the poll. Only 24% are positive toward the Republican Party (7% “very,” 17% “somewhat”). The remaining 21% is neutral, and that’s actually on the low end for how many people feel neutral toward the GOP, based on past results.
It’s no secret why the Republican Party’s numbers have plunged: the government shutdown. People surveyed blamed the Republican Party over President Obama for the shutdown, 53-31. 73% of respondents view the shutdown as “very serious” or “quite serious.” The poll showed that the Democratic Party is treading water (39% like them, 40% don't), and President Obama is actually viewed favorably 47-41. Lastly, the numbers Democrats salivate over: asked if they would prefer a Democratic or Republican-controlled Congress, respondents favored Democrats 47-39.
It’s going to take a serious lead in the polls for Democrats to actually take back the House in 2014 (and a successful get-out-the-vote effort), but 47-39 might be enough. That said, the election is a year away, and it’s easier to hate on your party when the stakes are low. Yes, a lot of people are really angry at the Republican Party now, but will that be enough to make them vote Democrat? For some people it will. Others might not like what the GOP is doing, but still won’t vote for someone with a D next to their name.
That said, the 2014 election may hinge on how much hay the Democrats can make out of the current anger toward the Republican Party.