For the first time in a very long time, the American people have a slight, net positive view of the Republican party, according to Gallup:
Americans’ opinions of the Republican Party have improved to the point where now more have a favorable than unfavorable opinion of the party. The last time more Americans viewed the GOP more positively than negatively was in 2005.
For the early part of the 2000s, Americans had a net-positive image of the Republican Party. That changed in 2005, as Americans soured on the Bush administration over the ongoing Iraq war, the federal government’s response to Hurricane Katrina, and rising gas prices, among other issues. After the 2006 midterm elections, which saw Americans remove the Republicans as the majority party in Congress, the Republicans’ ratings were 35% favorable and 58% unfavorable.
The Republican Party’s image remained negative over the next two years as the economy worsened, except for a 47%-47% reading after the party’s well-received national convention in 2008, which ended days before the financial crisis intensified. Just after Americans elected Barack Obama to replace Bush later that year, the Republicans’ net-favorable score was -27 (34% favorable, 61% unfavorable) — the worst Gallup has measured in this trend dating to 1992.
Over the last few weeks, the Democratic brand has also managed to improve slightly, but not by nearly as much as the Republican brand.
Currently, 47 percent of the country view the Democratic party as unfavorable, while only 46 percent view it favorably.
It appears the rare moments of semi-bipartisanship during the lame duck session might have improved both parties’ brands slightly. Of course, when you have only two major parties, politics are by nature a zero sum game, so the important thing is on net, the Republican Party is the winner.