According to Gallup, the GOP has its first net positive rating with the public since 2005.
Forty-seven percent of Americans view the Republican Party as favorable vs. 43 percent who view it as unfavorable. The last time the favorability numbers were this high was in the immediate aftermath of George W. Bush’s re-election.
The Democratic Party, on the other hand, is viewed unfavorably by 47 percent of the public vs. 46 percent who view it favorably — somewhat better numbers than last year but still among the worst since the early 1990s.
What this means, I think, is that the “branding” problem the GOP has been plagued with since the midpoint of the last decade has been largely, if not completely, overcome. And GOP leaders, since the midterm election, have come across as focused and principled, mostly likable and nonthreatening. There will be plenty of challenges ahead, particularly as Democrats try to portray the GOP as ruthless budget cutters in the coming months. For the time being, though, Republicans have done an impressive job in rebuilding the public’s trust. Now they have to maintain it.