Released: December 6, 2011
Nomination Race Hurting GOP, But Not Helping Obama
As the fight for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination unfolds, more Americans say their impression of the GOP field is worsening than improving. Those views, however, have not resulted in a better view of President Barack Obama at this point.
By a margin of two-to-one, more say that their impression of the GOP field is getting worse (31%) than getting better (14%). Half (50%) say their impression remains the same as they learn more about the Republican candidates.
About one-in-five (19%) say their impression of Obama has improved as they learn more about the Republicans. About as many (21%) say that the GOP campaign is worsening their impression of the president. Most (58%) say the Republicans have had no effect on their feelings about Obama.
The negative margin in evaluations of the GOP field rises to three-to-one (29% worse vs. 10% better) among independents, according to the latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press and The Washington Post, conducted Dec. 1-4 among 1,008 adults. Still, more than half (55%) say their impression is unchanged.
Only Republicans are more likely to say their impression of the field is improving (30%) rather than getting worse (8%). Nearly six-in-ten (58%) say their take hasn’t changed. Last month, about half of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (48%) said they saw the field as excellent or good; about as many (46%) said they saw the candidates as a group as only fair or poor. (See “Obama Job Approval Improves, GOP Contest Remains Fluid.”)
Among independents, 14% say the GOP campaign has improved their impression of Obama while 20% say it has made them more critical of the president. Nearly two-thirds (64%) say their opinion remains the same.
More than a third of Democrats (36%) say the GOP campaign has made them feel better about Obama, while 6% say it has made them feel worse. Most (56%) say their impression of the president has not been changed as they learn more about the Republican candidates.