Public opinion of the Republican Party's legislative platforms has hardly been polled to date, in large part because few specifics have been offered in detail.
But on Tuesday SHRM/NJ/Pew Congressional Connection released a survey of public opinion on four main proposals that have -- in however vague terms -- been put forward by members of the GOP leadership. And the results indicate that the Republican Party faces a fairly obvious deficit in public trust on policy matters even as it seem poised to make major political gains this November.
According to the results, a proposal to extend all the Bush tax cuts (including those for the wealthy) was supported by just 29 percent of respondents.
Calls to repeal the health care reform law passed by President Obama were favored by just 32 percent of the public.
Creating vouchers for Medicare was supported by just 33 percent of the public.
Amending the constitution to disallow automatic citizenship for children of illegal immigrants who were born in the United States, was favored by 46 percent of the public (49 percent opposed).
The one policy proposal that the GOP has put forward that has majority support is creating personal accounts for Social Security, which was favored by 58 percent of respondents.
Coming less than two months before the 2010 elections, the findings feed a question often bandied about by Democratic strategists not associated with specific campaign committees -- why has the party been so ineffective in focusing the spotlight on the Republican alternatives being offered to voters?
While the president's own policies remain unpopular (45 percent of respondents disapproved of health care reform despite the relatively low percentage who want it repealed), the GOP platform appears either equally distrusted or broadly unknown. Three-quarters of respondents said they could not name the leader of the GOP or said that the party does not have a leader.