Congressional GOP Leaving Behind a Third of Republicans
by Jonathan Singer, Wed Feb 18, 2009 at 11:10:38 AM EST
The Pew Research Center is out with its latest round of polling, which as always contains a great deal of information and detail. But rather than get in too deeply in the weeds, I'd like to take a look for a moment at President Obama's approval rating.
According to Pew, 64 percent of the country approves of the job that Barack Obama is doing as President, while a paltry 17 percent disapprove. Perhaps more importantly, nearly as many Republicans voice approval (34 percent) as do those who voice disapproval (41 percent). Among moderate and liberal Republicans, President Obama actually scores a net positive rating, with 46 percent approving and 30 percent disapproving.
So where are the members of Congress speaking for the third of all Republicans, and nearly half of moderate and liberal Republicans, approving of Barack Obama? Not a single House Republican -- not even the handful who profess to be moderates -- voted in favor of the President's first agenda item, the stimulus bill, and all but three Senate Republicans also voted no on the measure as well.
The Beltway press seems intent on calling the near-unanimous opposition to Barack Obama from the Republican Party a good thing for the GOP -- but with a third of the Republican base siding with the President, don't the Republican leaders in Capitol Hill run some real risks of defections from voters in the coming years by acting so intransigently?