According to a CNN Opinion Research Poll, public approval of the Republican Party this month is at 36 percent, the lowest it's been since the summer of 2007, right at the tail end of George Bush's second term in office. That's a 5 percent drop from the last poll, over the summer. 54 percent of the people surveyed said they disapproved of the GOP. The Democratic Party's approval rating over the past few months has been hovering at just over 50 percent (it's 53 percent now, and their last peak was in November and December of last year, when they reached 60 percent approval rating). 41 percent of people say they disapprove of the ruling party.
Meanwhile, a Public Policy Poll that matched up potential 2012 Republican presidential candidates against Barack Obama shows that Mike Huckabee — the far-right Baptist minister — has the best chances against the incumbent. But though he'd fare better than Mitt Romney or Sarah Palin, the next strongest contenders, even he'd still lose 47–43. He also handily won a straw poll at a Values Voters Summit this week. Of the top three candidates, it's interesting that mild-mannered Mike Huckabee — a Fox News host, even! — has been in the news the least for publicly excoriating the current administration. He has even warned his Republican comrades that they were beginning to sound like "right-wing whiners" over Obama's Nobel Peace Prize win.
By picking a war with Fox News saying that they are the "communications arm of the Republican Party," the Obama administration is not only trying to mitigate the effectiveness of Fox News' hectoring, but also to reflect their blustery, self-righteous, just-say-no angry posture back on the party itself. It's too early to tell if their most recent moves have pushed the needle in either direction, but one thing is certainly clear: Moderates currently have an image of the Republican Party, accurate or not, and it is one that alienates them. Fewer than 10 percent of people were undecided about the party in the CNN poll. The only times these numbers were worse for the GOP was in 1998, when the party was afire with its efforts to impeach President Bill Clinton.
Huckabee Leads in 2012 Poll [Little Green Footballs]
GOP Favorability Rating The Worst Since Clinton Impeachment [HuffPo]