Politico: Polls show toll on House GOP image

Taking our country to the brink of default, walking away from meaningful action on the deficit, and putting middle class tax cuts at risk hasn’t played out well for House Republicans according to a recent GOP poll.  While Republicans would like to blame their plunging poll numbers on their jobs message, the fact is they haven’t put forward a comprehensive jobs plan, even though they’ve had a year to focus on putting more Americans back to work.

From Politico:

“House Republican poll ratings have plunged over the past year, as Washington’s brutal battles have taken a toll on a party that was flying high last January when it took the majority. Long, drawn-out skirmishes over the debt ceiling, the supercommittee and the payroll tax holiday have led to a 64 percent unfavorable rating for Republicans, with their favorable numbers sitting at 29 percent, according to an internal poll conducted by GOP pollster David Winston in the final days of December 2011.”

“To illustrate how precipitous a drop that is, Republicans started off 2011 with a 43 percent favorable rating and 46 percent unfavorable rating.”

“At the same time, President Barack Obama continues to gain ground on congressional Republicans on a central issue: jobs and growing the economy. When asked who is more focused on those two objectives, 49 percent of those polled believe it’s Obama, while 40 percent say it’s Republicans in Congress. It’s the fifth straight month Obama was ahead of Republicans in Congress — Republicans led Obama in early August.”

“Republicans say the dip in poll numbers is because the party slipped up on its jobs message.”

“This poll’s results were the subject of a session during the House Republican retreat earlier this month in Baltimore. For 2012, Republicans are going to try to rewrite the script. Gone are the days of legislative warring with Obama: Republicans say they simply want to talk about job creation and present the public with alternatives to the president’s agenda. They’ll be tested on several fronts, including whether the House Republican Conference is willing to go along with a path of nonresistance on the payroll tax cut, which is set to expire at the end of February.”

“The fact that the poll comes from Winston, a longtime Republican pollster, makes it that much more difficult for the House GOP to ignore. Winston has been around since the heady days of the first Republican revolution and now is a trusted adviser of Boehner’s and works with Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign.”