There can be little disagreement that the Bush administration is badly tarnishing the Republican brand. But does this damage actually affect whether or not people identify themselves as a Republican?
That is the question I examined at Hominid Views using current and historical poll data that reports party affiliation of respondents. At the national level the fraction who claim to be Democrats has been relatively stable over the last 3.5 years. But the fraction claiming to be Republican has been declining with a corresponding increase in the number of independents.
In Washington state, however, a subtly different pattern emerges over the last two years. Democratic party identity has increased substantially while both Republican and independent identity have declined. The most recent SurveyUSA poll recorded a Democratic affiliation for 40% of the respondents and Republican affiliation for 21% of the respondents. If real, that is a remarkable 2:1 advantage for Democrats!
Is this just an outlier? Perhaps this is the consequence of damage brought on by BushCo? Or maybe the Washington State Republican’s antics are causing real damage to the party?
I report, you decide. The graphical tour begins here.
Daddy Love spews:
Suck on that, Dino Rossi.
Proud To Be An Ass spews:
When nearly all those standing around the water cooler call for Bush’s impeachment and favorably discuss national health care, it’s hard for a republican or independent to maintain a world view based essentially on unreality, market fetishism, and moral bankruptcy. Perhaps our state has attained some kind of critical mass….a tipping point as it were, that is reinforcing the trend of increasing self identified Democrats.
PS: Rossi is toast.
Did you hear the Publicans grilling the AG yesterday? When the Publicans start telling the truth, you know things are bad. I see this as an opportunity for real conservatives to form a third party. Everywhere but Washington that is. As the post points out, in good old Washington, people are smart enough to become Dems. As it should be.
Yer Killin Me spews:
I’ve wondered for a while whether a split isn’t coming in the Republican party, whether it’s the religious fundamentalist nutjob crazies forming their own Christianist Party or whether the Republicans of yore get fed up with the tarnishing of their brand and go off to create something that isn’t the political equivalent of “Edsel.” Maybe both.
Political parties are resilient creatures, with money and the momentum built up over 150 years and more on their side. Still, it’s hard to imagine how Brand Republican can withstand what the current crop of neoconservatives has done to it.
OR …. Unity08 good be for real this year. If HRC is the Demo and Guiliani the Publican, and Unity does manage to get the Mayor of New York and say Colin Powell to run ………………………………………………………………………………………..
@1 Do not count Rossi out. Yes he is in troubhle. Btweem Guzzo and Bush, Rossi has an uphill climb. BUT, for whatever reason CG has failed to achieve popularity. Her poll results are poor and there are numerous issue openings that Rossi could go after that she had left fallow.
Right now, I wold bet on her but f Rossi somehow sanitizes his Institute and places himself in the Hagel Snow wing, he still could win.
OTOH, I heards omething last night that should curl Reichert’s toes. I think he is dead meat.
RonK, Seattle spews:
SJ @ 6 — Dead, curly, toe-meat? Ewwwww! Might not matter, he’s still got the good hair.
@6 Recent polls show DR and CG quite close (46 to 43) with a lto of indies.
I posted a longish bit of gratuitous advice to Mr. Rossi on why he can still win. See current post at SeattleJew
RonK, Seattle spews:
Darryl — The most recent data point sure looks like an outlier … but this should get the attention of fmr WA GOP chair Chris Vance, who is holding forth at Crosscut on the woes of his party and what to do about it.
“Why Washington Republicans got creamed in 2006 and what they can do about it”
Also in discussion (with Vance participating) at Postman’s blog:
Former party chair tells what ails the GOP
Another TJ spews:
OR …. Unity08 good be for real this year. If HRC is the Demo and Guiliani the Publican, and Unity does manage to get the Mayor of New York and say Colin Powell to run…
Unity08 is not now, has never been, nor ever will be “for real.” It is a childish view of politics that deserves to be mercilessly mocked.
“Can’t we all get along” sounds good for about 2 seconds, until you realize a) they just want to enact their policies without the inconvenience of defending them and b) conflict is what drives our constitutional system.
Also, Giuliani will not be the nominee for the GOP. It will be Romney or Thompson, most likely Romney. Giulani has no shot at all; he just doesn’t realize it yet.
SeattleJew @ 6,
“for whatever reason CG has failed to achieve popularity.”
The most recent SurveyUSA (16 Jul 07) has Gregoire’s job performance at 54% approval and 39% disapproval. Her average over the past 12 months is 50% approval and 44% disapproval. So, if the trend continues, Gregoire will not be in bad shape next year.
Daddy Love spews:
Thanhks, Darryl. I was just about to post the same thing.
proud leftist spews:
Democratic policy positions are consistent with the values of a significant majority of Americans. The party’s positions on issues such as health care, taxes, Social Security, the environment, civil liberties, etc. far better reflect how most Americans approach such issues than do Republican positions. Only through tactics of demonization, fearmongering, and lying do Republicans win elections. As these tactics become more transparent to the public, more and more people should begin identifying as Democrats.
PMS Goldy spews:
“Is this just an outlier?” Nope. Seems to be consistent with national numbers crunched from RealClearPolitics. GWB has effected a realignment that Democrats, since 1930-1932, were unable to achieve. The GOP looked dead or smelled dead in 1933, and Democrats at least thru 1992 continued to run against Herbert Hoover. It looked dead in early 1965 and again in 1975, but the party’s dynamic tension dating back to 1912 kept party evolution alive. Republican progressives bounced off Republican conservatives, and both wings — TR’s and Taft’s — kept moving and sometimes growing.
But that’s all over. Compassionate GWB has stomped the TR-progressive GOP into the ground. Neo-Ronbo GWB has discredited conservatism, maybe forever. Something calling itself the GOP may stagger along, but the party’s vital center is devouring itself and the party’s reason for being (and for being different from Democrats) is dead.
Darryl … I don;t remember which poll it was but in a recent poll of Rossi vs the guv, she scored 46 and scored 43. 10% were undecided. Yes that is better than toi could be but given the national situation, your own analysis, and the state economy CG SHOULD be winning. 50% is marginal under these circumstances. Also I recently met with someone who knew her speachwriter well. The impression was interesting. He described her as a workaholic and highly ethical. He says she makes moral not political decisions. So far to the good. He also said she is hard to work for and very judgmental.
So, I am certainly not arguing that she is a lost case, just that she is not doing as well as she should be AND that a well positioned Schwarznegger-esque candidate could take her down. That said, the Guzzo schtick makes it hard to imagine that Din is not really a Dinsoaur. OTOH, you want a scary thought? McKay for gov. If the Publicans could contril their nut fringe and nominate Mr. McKay he could run against Bush and Gregoire!
Gregoire has had a looooong slog back from approvals in the mid-30s during the election contest. But, on average her approval has trended upward with time. (Seriously…if her current trend continues as it has since May 2005, she would be in the low 60% approval range in a year, but such projections are not very reliable.)
The poll pitting Gregoire against Rossi was described here. It is a pollster who primarily works for Republican clients, and found Gregoire leading 47% to 43% with 10% undecided (a Feb poll had the 46% to 43% results you mention).
What is interesting about Gregoire’s July approvals is that every June she gets horrible approval ratings. So, the current 54% approval is a huge improvement over June. I don’t know when the Moore poll was done, but it may well have been done in June (perhaps the Republicans did that knowing–or seeing–that June sucks for Gregoire’s approval). Additionally, it may well have been conducted prior to the recent onslaught of favorable economic news.
Finally, Dino Rossi will not become a “well positioned Schwarznegger-esque” candidate. There is no similarity between Rossi and an incumbent Republican governor with movie-star appeal who came out and acknowledged that he was wrong. Rossi will not reject the things that make him a Republican. Besides, his “freshness,” that held off a critical examination in 04, has largely worn off. People will pay much more attention to his extreme stances this time ’round.
Stephan Sharkookoo spews:
Anybody else remember the fallout after Watergate?
If you forgot, look it up.
Republicans will get slaughtered in ’08. No 2 ways about it.
I could have written the same things you did in re Rossi, except that I keep hoping there more there there.
ON CG, I actually have the same feeling. I wish there was more there there. She, like her predecessor, has a huge opportunity to do good things. Tx to the economy and the Bush implosion (and if you are correct the Rossi effort) she could and should get a lot done.
So far, I do not see that. What I see is a good administrator who is not providing leadership in the areas where long term changes are needed. My bet? She will be re-elected and will then take a job in the Hillary or Obama administrations … HHS, Interior or Commerce all make sense. I even think she would be a great admin and the post Bu-shit era is going to need folks like her.
If I am correct, this raises several issues:
1. What of YOU are wrong and DR runs a Schwartenegger campaign? he does not need to eb a movie star, but Arnauld may nto have much to campaign for in 08 and will want to be building a base of party reform. Rossi (if yuo are wrong about his nature) would be good meat for the muscled one’s attentions. Even mores serious, what of DR backs out and John McKay runs?
2. If she is running for HHS, what in hell do we do about the LG office? This is too often neglected here.
3. Assuming I am disappointed by Mr Rossi (and the Guzzo affair certainly makes you and Goldy look correct), how can we get CG to make stronger use of her office? Admittedly there seems to be more there then there was there under Locke, but the thereness of CG is till pretty thin. Does anyone know how she feels about any coimplex issues?
Re: your points.
1. I have no idea what you are getting at here.
2. She’s not running for HHS. That appears to be little more than unsubstantiated speculation.
3. “how can we get CG to make stronger use of her office?” We can start by reelecting here :-) Seriously…I share almost none of your concerns about Gregoire. Furthermore, I approve of her cautious approach in not pushing too much, too fast with a D legislature. Doing so is almost always a recipe for disaster.
I am wondering if, perhaps, your perception of her as Governor is unduly shaped by your dissatisfaction with her in previous positions?
Is my opinion colored by CG’s performance as AG?
Do I believe that DR will do what I am suggesting he SHOULD do?
Do I think CG is well meaning?
Do I think she puts carearism before idealism.
Yes, but that is hardly a major criticism. I think she would be a good Secty of HHS. I thihk we need a governor who is more idealistic and willign to sacrifice in return for leading.
All that said, where we disagree is on whther she could be doing a better job. This has two parts.
1. Does she have a better agenda?
I am not convinced of this. If I look at her governance, I see very little evidence of change from waht has gone on here for years. Can you give me an example pf an agenda issue on which you support her?
2.If she does have an agenda, it would not be achievable because of State politics.
This was Gary Locke’s excuse too. Obviously she could not flail out in all directions. Taking on the anti-immigrnt crowd, the teacher’s unions, the no tax crowd, etc. all at once is as much a recipe for failure as NOT doing any of these.
That said, I come back to my agenda question. Where is CG willing to spend her capital? You tell me the issue she is courageous on.
I will focus on one exmaple. The State is eroding the quality of the UW. Assuming CG believes in an elite university (I am not so sure) is she willing to risk some capital in opposing the creation of Potemkin branches?
“You tell me the issue she is courageous on.”
Gregoire’s style is not to push major, in your face, initiatives (a la Arnold during his first term). She is much more like Clinton during his second term, pushing through numerous small pieces of legislation achieving overall goals.
That said, I think she has been leading in several important areas:
— international trade
— health care and health care costs (particularly for disadvantaged folks)
— The enviornment (esp. Puget Sound)
— Transportation, specifically the 2005 Transportation Bill that replaced some of the funding lost through I-695.
Re: UW. I don’t know what her stance is on branch campuses. I agree that WA State doesn’t get the most out of the UW as they could. But the problems are deeply structural and long-standing. U WA is entrenched as part of the state bureaucracy in a way that I’ve not experienced before (having also worked at U WI and Penn State).