The Republican makeover falters

The Week

Two new polls find the GOP is fading quickly in the minds of American voters

Republicans take solace in the fact that they lost last year's presidential race by only a few percentage points, but two new polls this morning show the party is actually losing ground quickly.

As First Read puts it, the GOP "is about as popular as Carnival Cruise Lines right now."

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Here are the key finding from the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll: Just 29 percent have a favorable view of the Republican Party, as compared to 49 percent for President Obama and 41 percent for the Democratic Party.

The public also believes Republicans are more interested in partisanship: 48 percent say Obama wants to unify the country in a bipartisan way, while 43 percent say he's taking a partisan approach. By comparison, 64 percent say Republicans are taking a partisan approach, versus 22 percent who say the GOP is focused on unity.

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What's more, the poll shows the Democratic Party beats the Republican Party on almost every issue, with the GOP's numbers dropping in most cases even as the Democrats numbers didn't move.

Meanwhile, on the issue Republicans have decided to highlight in their fight against the president — the federal budget deficit — a new Washington Post/ABC News poll finds 67 percent of those questioned disapprove of the "way Republicans in Congress are handling federal spending."

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As Greg Sargent points out, "If these findings aren't enough to persuade Republican strategists that the party needs a rethink on the issues — and not just a change in tone and packaging — then it's hard to imagine what will."

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