Poll: GOP Brand Is Still "Dog Food"

| Wed Oct. 3, 2012 10:43 AM EDT

Mitt Romney's presidential chances haven't looked sunny lately. It doesn't help that he is surfing a larger GOP suck wave. According to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, the Republican party as a whole is wallowing through a lull in popularity. Fifty-three percent of voters polled have an unfavorable view of the party, while 42 percent think the GOP is still grand.

The image problem is particularly pronounced among the people who matter most: swingables. Sixty percent of moderates view the GOP negatively. Only 11 percent see it in a "strongly favorable" light. Meanwhile, the Democrats' brand polled at 48 percent to 46 percent favorable/unfavorable, with 52 percent of moderates regarding the Democratic party positively.

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Heck, even the GOP hates the GOP. Only about two-thirds of tea partiers and conservatives like the party that they basically always vote for, according to the Post's Aaron Blake. He notes that the Republican brand is in worse shape than it was four years ago, "with most of the numbers above falling by between five and 10 points over the last four years."

The money analysis from Blake:

All of which tells use one thing: The Republican Party's brand continues to be, as former Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) said in the runup to the 2008 election, "dog food."

Why, oh why? Because Republicans don't like voters. As Brent Budowsky wrote at The Hill last week, "Republicans have created a reverse-Rorschach syndrome in which large masses of voters consider GOP derision, originally directed against liberals and Democrats, to be directed at them." With Todd Akin alienating women, seniors being voucherized out of Medicare, and 47 percent of Americans being cast as leeches, there aren't a whole lot of unoffended voters left. (And even with his latest swing on immigration, Romney's probably not currying much favor with minorities.)

Still, this is no slam-dunk for Dems, the Post notes: "After all, even as Republicans made huge gains in the House and Senate in 2010, their party brand was about where it is today."

Clearly, there are other ways to win an election than just being popular.