Whatever Republicans are selling, America is not buying it.
Following Mitt Romney’s loss, the GOP is facing a major branding problem, according to a new NBC/Wall Street Journal national poll.
When respondents were asked to give a word or short phrase to describe the Republican Party, a substantial 65% gave answers with negative connotations including “bad,” “weak,” “negative,” “lost” and “uncompromising.” Just 17% of the comments were positive.
The numbers contrasted with those asked to describe the Democratic Party, with 37% negative and 35% positive.
“Republicans have gone off the image cliff,” Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart, who conducted the survey, told NBC.
The poll also showed that Americans trust President Obama over House Speaker John Boehner in “handling the fiscal cliff.” While 38% named the commander-in-chief, just 19% selected Boehner. Another 28% said they did not trust either side.
Respondents were also asked if they had positive or negative feelings about 11 different lawmakers or institutions. The Republican Party and its politicians (Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney, John Boehner) all received more negative ratings than positive. Meanwhile, the Democratic Party and its pols (Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and Joe Biden) had more positive ratings than negative. The exception to the Democrats was Susan Rice.
Chuck Todd, NBC News’ chief White House correspondent told Hardball’s Chris Matthews on Thursday night that the Republicans have had a branding problem since 2005.
He said the party is “coming across as not relevant. I think whether it’s with Hispanics, whether it’s with women, whether its conservatism and there’s too many voices dominating the wrong side–[it’s] giving the party brand a bad name.”
The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza agreed, arguing the image problem runs deeper than an election or a candidate.
“You’re making a mistake if you’re saying this is about Mitt Romney…This is about the fate of a Republican brand,” he said.