Polls: Why the GOP Needs to Worry About Elections

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 If a new poll held in Virginia is any indicator of national sentiment — and the Washington PostNBC News, and The Week certainly believe it is — the GOP isn’t doing well with voter groups that it really needs to be doing well with. Among the groups considered to be “key likely voter groups” are independents, women, non-whites, and white college graduates. According to a joint poll of Virginians conducted by the Washington Post and Scientific Research-Based Interventions, none of them are really in the green.

Polling of independents showed a 69 point unfavorable rating, compared to a 25 point favorable one, and women came in with 69 percent unfavorable compared to a 28 percent favorable. White college graduates also polled at 69 percent negative, but had 31 percent favorable ratings to combat that — if only minimally. Non-Whites polled at the lowest of all with 87 percent disapproval compared to only 12 percent positive ratings.

The Republican Growth & Opportunity Project booklet shows concerns for their own party as well, saying that the GOP is a “tale of two parties” today, with a “growing and successful” gubernatorial wing being drug down by the federal wing, which is “increasingly marginalizing itself.”

The commentary voices concern about their public opinion, saying that, “Public perception of the Party is at record lows. Young voters are increasingly rolling their eyes at what the Party represents, and many minorities wrongly think that Republicans do no like or want them in the country.”

The report also noted that Americans don’t seem to feel that the GOP “cares” about them, and this sentiment certainly isn’t going to be helped in the weeks ahead — with House Republicans likely to block immigration reform according to the Washington Post, as well as preventing the Democrat-led effort against anti-gay discrimination in the workplace.

The recent Virginia poll is also echoed nationwide in a Washington Post/ABC News poll that came out last week, which looked at the whole of the American electorate, rather than just one highly indicative state, and found that negative sentiment for the GOP was at record highs of 63 percent, especially in women, the elderly, independents, and white college graduates.

Disapproval ratings for those over sixty-five have gone up 19 percent to 65 percent, a 17 percent increase in disapproval among independents has them sitting at 67 percent disapproval, and 10 percent increase in women polled showed them at a 63 percent negative rating. Jennifer Duffy, a nonpartisan observer for the Cook Political Report, noted that such constituencies are important in elections. “Seniors tend to be very reliable voters in midterm elections. They turn out in great numbers. In the past few elections, they have favored Republicans. If Republicans start losing seniors in large numbers, they have a very big problem,” said Duffy.

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