Last week, Steve Benen of the Washington Monthly put together an interesting chart using results of a weekly nationwide Research 2000 poll. He took the question “Do you have a favorable view of the Republican Party?” and charted the results by region.
As the Cookie Monster might note, one of these regions is very much not like the other.
While public attitudes toward the GOP are largely positive here in the South, they are very much negative in the rest of the country. Just 7 percent of voters polled in the Northeast think favorably toward the Republican Party, and numbers in the Midwest (13 percent) and West (14 percent) aren’t much better.
Not surprisingly, charting favorability toward the Democrats would produce a mirror image of Benen’s chart. While just 41 percent of voters think favorably of Democrats, and 50 percent perceive it unfavorably, those national numbers vary widely by region. In the Northeast, 62 percent view the Democrats favorably, while just 20 percent do so in the South.
The poll was done for the liberal DailyKos site, which will no doubt taint it in the eyes of some. But the national numbers it produces track closely with other polls, suggesting that it is not an outlier. Nationally, Research 2000 put Barack Obama’s favorability rating at 54 percent, while the average of major polls at Pollster.com puts it at 53.6 percent. (Here in the South, Research 2000 put Obama’s favorability number at just 27 percent, with 67 percent viewing him unfavorably.)
The standard question of whether the country is headed in the right direction or is on the wrong track also suggests the Research 2000 findings are in the mainstream. Its results put the numbers at 40 percent right direction, 54 percent wrong track, while the poll average at Pollster puts it at 38.6 percent right direction, 54 percent wrong track. In other words, the poll “trues up” pretty well.
And yes, we here in the South are considerably more pessimistic about the country’s direction than our fellow Americans. Just 30 percent say we’re headed in the right direction, while 63 percent say we’re on the wrong track.