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Party Favorability Poll: Gallup Lumps 'Leaners' With Party Liners

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Created: 25 September, 2018
Updated: 21 November, 2022
2 min read

The Republican Party's approval rating is the highest its been in seven years. According to Gallup’s September ‘Government’ poll, the GOP scored the favorable opinion of 45% of Americans. This a nine-point jump from last September’s 36 percent result.

Gallup always polls on government performance and approval in September, and in the last year, Republicans delivered on tax cuts promised by President Trump on the campaign trail - with adjustments – and the economy has continued to make gains under the Republican administration.

Jobs, earnings, not to mention the GDP have steadily risen. That counts for a lot with voters in a way that no partisan talking head can deny. As Clinton campaign operative James Carvin said in 1992, “It’s the economy, stupid.”

Source: Gallup

But here is the thing. Gallup and others like it mash together Republican leaners and Democratic leaners within each party's result, which is a common practice when polling. However, the leaners may very well be independents with only one of two options. They shouldn't be lumped together with party-liners.

And yet, these numbers are used to read the tea leaves of midterms. Swing voters want results - they’re not into being a dependable contributor to a base.

A Recap

The last time Republican approval numbers of this caliber were seen was when the party took control of the House of Representatives in the 2010 midterms. Predictably ratings shot up shortly afterward, reaching 47%.

Since 2016, the GOP fell flat on its face with a failed repeal of Obama Care, and disastrous immigration legislation, as well as failed reunions of families at the border. And still, they jumped ahead of Democrats who have by and large always had the upper hand in this Gallup’s September poll. Forty-four percent of Americans give the Democratic Party a favorable rating.

What to Watch

Polling after this Kavanaugh fiasco should be interesting for approval ratings. If Democrats push for Judge Kavanaugh's ouster without due process and if Republicans let that happen we could see a number change. Pay attention to those numbers in October and, if the fireworks continue, on into Thanksgiving.

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