POLITICS
04/13/2017 06:16 pm ET

Compared To Past Years, Fewer Americans Now Say The GOP Is 'Too Extreme'

But it's still seen as more extreme than the Democratic Party.
Gutzemberg via Getty Images

Fewer Americans now view the Republican Party as “too extreme” than did so a year ago, according to a new HuffPost/YouGov survey.

Forty-two percent of Americans currently say the GOP is too extreme, down modestly from the 48 percent who said that in a survey last May, and from the 50 percent who held that view two years ago.

Views of the Democrats have changed relatively little over the same time period ― 40 percent now say the party is too extreme, compared to 38 percent last year and 39 percent in 2015.

Asked which of the two parties is more extreme, Americans named the GOP by a 6-point margin, 36 percent to 30 percent, in the latest survey. The remaining respondents said the parties are equally extreme, or that they’re unsure.

Just 19 percent of Democrats see their own party as too extreme, while three-quarters of Democrats view the Republican Party that way. Thirteen percent of Republicans say their own party goes too far, with 80 saying the same of the Democrats.

Partisans on both sides of the aisle are divided over whether their party should be more aggressive in Congress: 30 percent of Democrats say that congressional Democrats compromise too much with Republicans, 19 percent that they compromise too little, and another 33 percent that they’re doing about right. Similarly, 31 percent of Republicans think their party’s congressional representatives compromise too often, 17 percent that they compromise too little, and 31 percent that they’re compromising about as often as they should.

The Democratic Party, which has long enjoyed a far higher favorability rating than the GOP, saw its numbers plunge in the wake of the 2016 election, although it still retains a modest edge. At the beginning of last November, the Democratic Party’s net favorability rating stood at about -4, according to HuffPost Pollster’s aggregate, with the GOP favorability rating closer to -20. As of Thursday afternoon, the Democrats’ numbers had fallen to a net -10, while Republicans had recovered to about -15.

The HuffPost/YouGov poll consisted of 1,000 completed interviews conducted April 6-7 among U.S. adults, using a sample selected from YouGov’s opt-in online panel to match the demographics and other characteristics of the adult U.S. population.

The Huffington Post has teamed up with YouGov to conduct daily opinion polls. You can learn more about this project and take part in YouGov’s nationally representative opinion polling. Data from all HuffPost/YouGov polls can be found here. More details on the polls’ methodology are available here.

Most surveys report a margin of error that represents some, but not all, potential survey errors. YouGov’s reports include a model-based margin of error, which rests on a specific set of statistical assumptions about the selected sample, rather than the standard methodology for random probability sampling. If these assumptions are wrong, the model-based margin of error may also be inaccurate. Click here for a more detailed explanation of the model-based margin of error.

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