GOP 'Brand' Improving According to New Poll Released by Pew Research
Pew Research Center has a brand new poll out that reflects some very favorable numbers for the Republicans going into the peak of the election season.
The poll shows that 'independent voters' now have an equally favorable opinion of both parties - 50% to 49% - a 1-point edge actually going to the Republicans. As recently as August, the Democrats had held an 18-point advantage over the Republicans in this very demographic; a huge gap that had previously held for over a year.
More from Politico on the results:
And half of registered voters overall now have a favorable opinion of the Republican Party, the highest GOP ranking in three years. Slightly more voters, 55 percent, continue to have a favorable view of the Democratic Party.
The GOP convention and the selection of Sarah Palin as John McCain's running mate have also generated considerable enthusiasm among the party rank-and-file. Pew found that three in four Republicans express satisfaction with their presidential choice. In June, only half said the same.
The findings come as the Gallup Poll recently found that the Democratic generic lead among voters, when asked which party they prefer to control Congress, has withered to only 3 points, 48 to 45 percent. Democrats had a double-digit generic congressional advantage on the eve of the midterm elections.
The portion of the public that strongly supports the Republican ticket has grown from 17 percent in August to 25 percent today. Over the same period, Republicans expressing "strong support" for McCain jumped 16 points. Independents expressing "strong support" for McCain rose 9 points. Meanwhile, Democratic "strong support" for Obama rose 7 points, while his backing from independents dropped one point.
The Pew Research polling indicates that the selection of Sarah Palin to the GOP ticket, may have helped John McCain shore up a much larger share of the religious/values voter segment...
Palin's impact may have also helped McCain firm up the religious vote.
Pew finds that three in four weekly churchgoing Evangelical Protestants back McCain, a slight gain of 3 points since August. McCain has gained more among religious Catholics, however.
Weekly attending Catholics now favor McCain 52 to 36 percent. In August, those same voters only narrowly favored McCain, 45 to 42 percent.
Regarding the female voter, in general, the poll suggests that there has been no huge avalanche of support running over to the McCain side following the Palin selection. But, there have been gains, again, when considering the female independent voter. As I've previously stated, the Palin selection wasn't about just trying to 'cherry pick' from the female voting demographic, in general, or the "Hillary Voter", specifically, as many in the media have been trying to label the purpose of her candidacy. Again, "it is way bigger than that". This selection goes to making a very long-term ideological statement that resonates with the conservative republican base as well as with independent-minded voters, whose support each election year is up for grabs. And the new polling seems to indicate that:
Pew found no lopsided shift of women to the Republican candidate, like Gallup, despite some premature reports that Palin's place on the GOP ticket had caused a rush of female support to McCain.
McCain has gained with independent women, and now trails Obama 40 to 42 percent. In August, McCain trailed 37 to 48 percent with this bloc of women. But those GOP gains are echoed, as Gallup also demonstrated, with independent men. McCain leads with independent men 48 to 35 percent; last month these men only slightly preferred McCain 45 to 42 percent.
As we move closer and closer to November 4th, the momentum clearly seems to be in the favor of McCain-Palin, especially in the key race to shore up support from independents. There's certainly a lot to be enthusiastic about if you're backing the GOP.