According to former speaker Newt Gingrich in a recent Washington Post piece, "voters are more skeptical of Republicans then they were in '93 and '94" when the GOP reclaimed majority control of the House for the first time in four decades.
However, if you compare the Republican Party of a year ago that was left beaten, brused, and battered after an 8 year cluster-fuck formally known at the Bush Administration, then indeed they have come along way in 12 months. In spite of an ugly summer with Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, and Rush Limbaugh seemingly at the wheel.
Republicans in Washington my be celebrating too early if thier cause for celebration is the politial capital spent by Barack Obama the first 9 months of the year. A new Washington Post/ABC News poll suggests the GOP still faces serious perception problems in the eyes of the American public and here's why.
Less than one in five voters (19 percent) expressed confidence in Republicans' ability to make the right decisions for America's future while a whopping 79 percent lacked that confidence.
Among independent voters, who went heavily for Obama in 2008 and congressional Democrats in 2006, the numbers for Republicans on the confidence questions were even more worse.
Just 17 percent of independents expressed confidence in Republicans' ability to make the right decision while 83 percent said they did not have that confidence.
And, perhaps most troubling for GOP hopes is the fact that just 20 percent of the Post sample identified themselves as Republicans, the lowest that number has been in Post polling since 1983.
These numbers, coming roughly one year before the 2010 midterm elections, show that any celebration on the GOP's behalf is premature as the party has yet to convince most voters that it can be a viable alternative to Democratic control in Washington today.
Overall, 57 percent approve of the way Obama is handling his job as president and 40 percent disapprove. While those numbers have moved only marginally over the past few months, here, too, are fresh signs of restiveness among the party faithful:
"Strong approval" among liberal Democrats is down 16 percentage points over the past month. On the economy, 50 percent approve of Obama's efforts, while 48 percent disapprove.
The president receives better marks from all Americans for his handling of international affairs and his performance as commander in chief (57 percent approval on each). Majorities also approve of how he is dealing the situation with Iran and his winning of the Nobel Peace Prize.