In Depth: Topics A to Z

Party Images

Trend: Americans' Opinions of the Republican and Democratic Parties

Trend: Democratic Party Favorability

Trend: Republican Party Favorability

Trend: Which party will do a better job of protecting the country from international terrorism and military threats?

Which party will do a better job of keeping the country prosperous?

Trend: Do Republican and Democratic parties do an adequate job of representing the American people, or is a third major party needed?

Trend: Do you think there are important differences between Republicans and Democrats on issues that matter to you, or do you think the two parties are pretty much the same?

Can you please tell me one or two specific things you like about the Republican Party? (Open-ended)

Can you please tell me one or two specific things you dislike about the Republican Party? (Open-ended)


Can you please tell me one or two specific things you like about the Democratic Party? (Open-ended)

Next, please tell me one or two specific things you dislike about the Democratic Party? (Open-ended)

Please tell me whether you think each of the following applies, or does not apply to the Republican Party today. [RANDOM ORDER]

Can bring about the changes this country needs

Applies

Does not apply

No opinion

%

%

%

2011 Apr 20-23

48

48

4

2010 Sep 30-Oct 3

43

52

5

2008 Feb 8-10

39

58

3

2006 Oct 6-8

40

54

6

1999 Feb 12-13

52

43

5

1994 Oct 22-25

43

53

4

Has mostly honest and ethical members in Congress

Applies

Does not apply

No opinion

%

%

%

2011 Apr 20-23

42

52

6

2010 Sep 30-Oct 3

42

52

6

2008 Feb 8-10

41

52

7

2006 Oct 6-8

42

51

7

1999 Feb 12-13

56

40

4

1994 Oct 22-25

34

58

8

Looks out for the country's long-term future as well as current problems

Applies

Does not apply

No opinion

2011 Apr 20-23

53%

43

4

1994 Oct 22-24

51%

46

3

Has a clear plan for solving the country's problems

Applies

Does not apply

No opinion

%

%

%

2010 Sep 30-Oct 3

32

63

5

2006 Oct 6-8

29

66

5

1999 Feb 12-13

38

57

5

1994 Oct 22-25

28

67

5

Is able to manage the federal government effectively

Applies

Does not apply

No opinion

%

%

%

2010 Sep 30-Oct 3

42

52

6

2008 Feb 8-10

38

58

4

2006 Oct 6-8

40

54

6

1999 Feb 12-13

56

41

3

1994 Oct 22-25

42

53

5

Please tell me whether you think each of the following applies, or does not apply to the Democratic Party today. [RANDOM ORDER]

Can bring about the changes this country needs

Applies

Does not apply

No opinion

%

%

%

2011 Apr 20-23

50

47

3

2010 Sep 30-Oct 3

40

55

5

2008 Feb 8-10

58

39

3

2006 Oct 6-8

59

36

6

1999 Feb 12-13

56

40

4

1994 Oct 22-25

43

53

4

Has mostly honest and ethical members in Congress

Applies

Does not apply

No opinion

%

%

%

2011 Apr 20-23

45

50

5

2010 Sep 30-Oct 3

39

52

8

2008 Feb 8-10

52

42

6

2006 Oct 6-8

54

38

8

1999 Feb 12-13

55

41

4

1994 Oct 22-25

34

60

6

Looks out for the country's long-term future as well as current problems

Applies

Does not apply

No opinion

2011 Apr 20-23

52%

44

4

1994 Oct 22-24

49%

49

2

Has a clear plan for solving the country's problems

Applies

Does not apply

No opinion

%

%

%

2010 Sep 30-Oct 3

33

62

5

2006 Oct 6-8

40

53

7

1999 Feb 12-13

47

49

4

1994 Oct 22-25

30

67

3

Is able to manage the federal government effectively

Applies

Does not apply

No opinion

%

%

%

2010 Sep 30-Oct 3

39

56

5

2008 Feb 8-10

54

43

3

2006 Oct 6-8

57

38

5

1999 Feb 12-13

57

40

3

1994 Oct 22-25

34

62

4

p>How well does the Republican Party do each of the following -- very well, moderately well, not too well, or not well at all? [RANDOM ORDER]

Represent your values

Very
well

Moderately
well

Not too
well

Not well
at all

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

2010 Aug 27-30

14

42

17

25

1

2006 Oct 20-22

10

41

21

26

2

2005 Oct 21-23

24

33

19

22

2

1999 Feb 12-13

15

43

25

15

2

1994 Nov 28-29

20

46

19

12

3

1994 Oct 22-25

11

43

26

18

2

Represent your attitude about the role of government

Very
well

Moderately
well

Not too
well

Not well
at all

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

2010 Aug 27-30

14

38

24

23

1

2006 Oct 20-22

10

38

26

24

2

2005 Oct 21-23

21

36

21

20

2

1999 Feb 12-13

14

41

30

13

2

1994 Nov 28-29

18

46

21

11

4

1994 Oct 22-25

10

42

30

16

2

Understand the problems Americans face in their daily lives

Very
well

Moderately
well

Not too
well

Not well
at all

No
opinion

2010 Aug 27-30

9%

34

26

30

1

Share your attitudes about the role of religion in politics

Very
well

Moderately
well

Not too
well

Not well
at all

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

2006 Oct 20-22

11

30

22

33

4

2005 Oct 21-23

22

31

22

23

2

1994 Nov 28-29

13

40

24

17

6

1994 Oct 22-25

8

38

25

21

7

How well does the Democratic Party do each of the following -- very well, moderately well, not too well, or not well at all? [RANDOM ORDER]

Represent your values

Very
well

Moderately
well

Not too
well

Not well
at all

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

2010 Aug 27-30

15

34

21

29

1

2006 Oct 20-22

12

44

23

19

2

2005 Oct 21-23

22

36

22

18

2

1999 Feb 12-13

17

43

21

17

2

1994 Nov 28-29

13

36

29

20

2

1994 Oct 22-25

9

39

28

22

3

Represent your attitude about the role of government

Very
well

Moderately
well

Not too
well

Not well
at all

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

2010 Aug 27-30

12

32

23

31

2

2006 Oct 20-22

13

44

22

20

2

2005 Oct 21-23

18

41

22

17

2

1999 Feb 12-13

18

44

23

14

2

1994 Nov 28-29

11

36

29

21

3

1994 Oct 22-25

7

39

29

22

3

Understand the problems Americans face in their daily lives

Very
well

Moderately
well

Not too
well

Not well
at all

No
opinion

2010 Aug 27-30

14%

30

22

32

1

Share your attitudes about the role of religion in politics

Very
well

Moderately
well

Not too
well

Not well
at all

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

2006 Oct 20-22

11

30

22

33

4

2006 Oct 20-22

14

34

23

24

5

2005 Oct 21-23

20

33

21

22

4

1994 Nov 28-29

12

35

28

20

5

1994 Oct 22-25

10

36

24

24

6

Since Barack Obama took office, do you think the Republican Party has become more conservative, or not?

Yes, more
conservative

No, not more
conservative

No opinion

2010 Aug 27-30

54%

40

6

(Asked of those who think the Republican Party has gotten more conservative) Do you think that is a good thing or a bad thing?

BASED ON NATIONAL ADULTS WHO THINK THE REPUBLICAN PARTY HAS BECOME MORE CONSERVATIVE

Good thing

Bad thing

No opinion

2010 Aug 27-30

50%

48

2

(Asked of those who think the Republican Party has gotten more conservative) Do you think the Republican Party has become more conservative mostly because of the influence of the Tea Party movement or mostly for other reasons?

BASED ON NATIONAL ADULTS WHO THINK THE REPUBLICAN PARTY HAS BECOME MORE CONSERVATIVE

Tea Party
influence

Other
reasons

No
opinion

2010 Aug 27-30

36

60

5

In general, do you think the political views of [ROTATED: the Republican Party/the Democratic Party] are too conservative, too liberal, or about right?

A. The Republican Party

Too
conservative

About
right

Too
liberal

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

2010 May 24-25

40

41

15

4

2009 Jun 14-17

43

34

17

6

2008 Feb 8-10

43

38

15

4

2006 Oct 20-22

42

38

14

6

2002 Nov 8-10

34

51

10

5

1999 Feb 12-13

39

45

12

4

1998 Nov 13-15

39

41

15

5

1996 Oct 26-29

41

41

13

5

1995 Nov 6-8

38

37

18

7

1995 Mar

32

48

14

6

1994 Nov 28-29

31

54

11

4

1994 Nov 2-6

34

44

13

9

1994 Oct 22-25

35

44

15

6

1992 Aug 19-20

39

38

12

11

B. The Democratic Party

Too
conservative

About
right

Too
liberal

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

2010 May 24-25

10

38

49

3

2009 Jun 14-17

8

42

46

4

2008 Feb 8-10

8

50

39

3

2006 Oct 20-22

9

44

41

6

2002 Nov 8-10

11

45

39

5

1999 Feb 12-13

6

55

36

3

1998 Nov 13-15

9

50

37

4

1996 Oct 26-29

7

49

40

4

1995 Nov 6-8

12

43

38

7

1994 Nov 28-29

13

32

50

5

1994 Nov 2-6

10

40

42

8

1994 Oct 22-25

10

40

45

5

1992 Aug 19-20

8

46

37

9

Do you think the Democratic Party or Republican Party would do a better job of dealing with -- [RANDOM ORDER]?

2010 May 24-25
(sorted by "Democratic Party")

Demo-
cratic
Party

Repub-
lican
Party

Same/No
difference
(vol.)

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

The environment, including global warming

58

28

9

6

Discrimination against minority groups

57

28

9

6

Unemployment

48

40

8

4

The size and power of large corporations

48

37

9

6

Healthcare costs

47

40

8

5

The situations in Iraq and Afghanistan

44

41

8

6

Illegal immigration

40

45

9

5

Federal government debt

39

46

10

5

The size and power of the federal government

37

48

10

5

Terrorism

36

49

10

4

Do you think the -- [ROTATED: Republican Party (or the) Democratic Party] -- cares more about the needs of people like you?

Repub-
lican
Party

Demo-
cratic
Party

Both/
Equally
(vol.)

Neither
(vol.)

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

2010 May 24-25

36

47

5

9

3

2002 Oct 3-6

34

48

5

7

6

(vol.) = Volunteered response

Do you think the -- [ROTATED: Republican Party (or the) Democratic Party] -- better shares your values?

Repub-
lican
Party

Demo-
cratic
Party

Both/
Equally
(vol.)

Neither
(vol.)

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

2010 May 24-25

44

45

4

5

2

2002 Oct 3-6

41

46

3

5

5

(vol.) = Volunteered response

Now, we'd like to ask you about your impressions of the two major political parties. First of all, what comes to mind when you think of -- [ROTATED]? How about … (OPEN-ENDED)

A. The Republican Party

2009
May 29-31

2005
Sep 12-15

2001
Sep 7-10

%

%

%

Unfavorable

25

11

13

Conservative

16

12

16

Favorable

7

14

12

Lost their way/No direction

6

--

--

Cater to the rich

6

11

11

George W. Bush

4

3

3

Closed-minded/Not open to new ideas

3

2

1

Cater to big business

3

6

7

Poor economic conditions

3

1

2

Pro-military/Pro-war

2

--

--

Untrustworthy

2

5

2

For the people

1

2

2

Greedy

1

3

2

Self-centered/Out for themselves

1

6

1

Money

1

3

5

Trustworthy

1

1

2

John McCain

1

--

--

For smaller/less government

1

1

1

Fiscally conservative

1

1

1

An elephant

1

*

1

Lower taxes

1

1

1

High morals

*

4

2

Arrogant

*

1

1

Poor environmental record

--

*

*

Other

15

7

13

None

6

8

7

No opinion

5

7

7

* Less than 0.5%

Note: Percentages add to more than 100% due to multiple responses.

B. The Democratic Party

2009
May 29-31

2005
Sep 12-15

2001
Sep 7-10

%

%

%

Liberal

15

22

13

Favorable

10

7

11

For the people/For the working, middle, lower class

10

17

15

Socially conscious/Progressive

10

5

4

Big spending/Spend a lot of money

8

4

3

Unfavorable

6

12

11

Self-centered/Out for themselves

4

3

1

Big government

3

2

3

Barack Obama

3

--

--

Welfare

2

1

1

High taxes

2

2

1

Fair

2

5

4

Give money away

2

1

2

Corrupt/Crooks/Scandals

2

2

4

Bill Clinton

1

2

3

Untrustworthy

1

2

3

Hillary Clinton

1

--

--

Hope

1

--

--

Conservative

1

1

1

Lack of morals

1

1

2

Good economic conditions

1

1

2

Pro-choice

1

*

1

A donkey

1

--

--

Freedom

1

--

--

Labor unions

*

1

1

Good environmental record

*

*

1

Al Gore

--

*

1

Other

11

8

11

None

7

9

7

No opinion

6

5

6

* Less than 0.5%

Note: Percentages add to more than 100% due to multiple responses.

Just your best guess, which do think is the better way for the Republican Party to succeed in future elections -- [ROTATED: to do a better job of giving reasons why people should favor its conservative views on political issues (or) to change the party's positions on certain issues to make them more appealing to political moderates]?

2009 May 29-31

Do better job
giving reasons

Change party
positions

No
opinion

%

%

%

National adults

37

55

8

Republicans/ Republican leaners

64

31

5

Over the next few years, would you like to see the Republican Party and its candidates move in a more conservative direction, a less conservative direction, or stay about the same?

2008 Nov 13-16

More
conservative

Less
conservative

Stay
the same

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

National adults

37

37

20

6

Republicans

59

12

28

1

Independents

35

35

22

8

Democrats

25

56

13

6

How would you rate the job the Republican Party is doing on each of the following -- [ROTATED: very good, good, poor, (or) very poor]. How about -- [RANDOM ORDER]?

A. Dealing with corruption in government

Very
good

Good

Poor

Very
poor

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

2006 Apr 28-30

2

24

48

24

3

B. Staying true to core Republican values

Very
good

Good

Poor

Very
poor

No
opinion

2006 Apr 28-30

10%

49

26

10

5

C. Providing leadership from the presidency and executive branch

Very
good

Good

Poor

Very
poor

No
opinion

2006 Apr 28-30

5%

38

35

20

2

D. Providing leadership from Congress

Very
good

Good

Poor

Very
poor

No
opinion

2006 Apr 28-30

4%

38

40

16

3

E. Offering solutions to the most important issues facing the nation

Very
good

Good

Poor

Very
poor

No
opinion

2006 Apr 28-30

4%

29

42

22

2

F. Managing the war in Iraq

Very
good

Good

Poor

Very
poor

No
opinion

2006 Apr 28-30

5%

29

34

30

2

G. Working with the Democrats in Washington to get things done

Very
good

Good

Poor

Very
poor

No
opinion

2006 Apr 28-30

3%

24

48

22

2

H. Putting the country's interests ahead of their own political interests

Very
good

Good

Poor

Very
poor

No
opinion

2006 Apr 28-30

5%

23

44

26

2

How would you rate the job the Democratic Party is doing on each of the following -- [ROTATED: very good, good, poor, (or) very poor]. How about -- [RANDOM ORDER]?

A. Dealing with corruption in government

Very
good

Good

Poor

Very
poor

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

2006 Apr 28-30

3

29

51

13

3

B. Staying true to core Democratic values

Very
good

Good

Poor

Very
poor

No
opinion

2006 Apr 28-30

10%

51

28

8

3

C. Working with the Republicans in Washington to get things done

Very
good

Good

Poor

Very
poor

No
opinion

2006 Apr 28-30

4%

27

47

19

3

D. Offering solutions to the most important issues facing the nation

Very
good

Good

Poor

Very
poor

No
opinion

2006 Apr 28-30

5%

37

44

13

2

E. Putting the country's interests ahead of their own political interests

Very
good

Good

Poor

Very
poor

No
opinion

2006 Apr 28-30

6%

31

45

16

2

Do you think [ROTATED: the Republican Party/the Democratic Party] does -- or does not -- have a clear plan for solving the country's problems?

A. The Republican Party

Yes, does

No, does not

No opinion

2006 Feb 9-12

26%

67

7

2002 Nov 8-10 ^

50%

42

8

^ Asked of a half sample

B. The Democratic Party

Yes, does

No, has not

No opinion

2006 Feb 9-12

23%

68

10

2002 Nov 8-10 ^

30%

60

10

^ Asked of a half sample

Which party do you think better represents your values -- the Republican Party or the Democratic Party?

Republican
Party

Democratic
Party

Both/
Equally
(vol.)

Neither
(vol.)

No
opinion

Post-GOP convention

2004 Sep 3-5 ^

45%

49

1

2

3

Post-Dem convention

2004 Jul 30-Aug 1 ^

45%

50

1

2

2

^ Asked of a half sample

Trends for comparison:

Republican
Party

Democratic
Party

Both/
Equally
(vol.)

Neither
(vol.)

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

Post-Dem convention

2000 Aug 18-19

40

50

3

5

2

Post-GOP convention

2000 Aug 4-5

46

43

4

4

3

Mid-Dem convention

1996 Aug 28-29

39

52

3

4

2

Mid-GOP conventions

1996 Aug 14-15

43

46

3

6

2

1992 Aug 19-20

40

48

3

4

5

(vol.) = Volunteered response

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