As Republican and Democratic leaders in Congress battle over President Barack Obama's economic stimulus package, the latest survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press finds the Democratic Party with a vast favorability advantage over the GOP. More than six-in-ten Americans (62%) say they have a positive opinion of the Democratic Party, compared with 40% who say they have a favorable opinion of the Republican Party.
The current Democratic favorability advantage is the largest measured in nearly two decades. The widening gap is primarily a result of an increase in favorable views of the Democratic Party since the election, up from 57% in late October 2008. In December 1994, following the Republican takeover in Congress, the GOP held a 17-point advantage, that party's largest. Two-thirds (67%) said they had a positive opinion of the Republican Party and 50% had a favorable opinion of the Democratic Party after the 1994 election.
The survey, conducted Jan. 7-11 among 1,503 adults on cell phones and landlines, finds that the Democratic Party is currently seen more favorably than the Republican Party among nearly every demographic group. Even among white evangelical Protestants, who are some of the most loyal supporters of the Republican Party, opinions about the two parties are about even. Fully half of white evangelicals have a favorable opinion of the Democratic Party and about the same number (48%) say they have a positive opinion of the GOP.
Read the full report Dems' Favorability Advantage Widens on the Pew Research Center's Web site.