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Republican Party's Rating Plummets To 'Record Low'

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There may be plenty of blame to go around for the nine-day government shutdown, but the Republican brand is taking the harder hit in public opinion.

Just 28 percent of Americans have a favorable impression of the Republican Party, down 10 percentage points from last month, according to a Gallup poll. The polling firm called it a "record low," noting that "this is the lowest favorable rating measured for either party since Gallup began asking this question in 1992."

While the Democratic Party isn’t popular either, it fared better, with 43 percent of Americans approving of the party -- down a comparatively small 4 points from September.

2013-10-09-GallupGOPFavorability.png

The percentage of Americans rating the Republicans unfavorably also reached a record high of 60 percent, while 49 percent gave the Democrats a negative rating. Remarkably, more than one-quarter of Republicans (27 percent) viewed their own party unfavorably.

In Gallup's tracking, the only previous loss of approval that came anywhere close for the Republicans was a drop from 43 to 31 percent immediately following the House of Representatives vote to impeach President Bill Clinton in December 1998. As The New Republic's Nate Cohn notes, the only good news for the Republicans is that the last time, their rating snapped back to 40 percent a few weeks later.

Nonetheless, the negative perceptions of Republicans during the impeachment debate helped Democrats to gain five House seats in the November 1998 election. That was the first time since 1934 that the president's party gained seats in a midterm election.

The Gallup poll surveyed 1,028 adults between Oct. 3 and Oct. 6.

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