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Republicans viewed more favorably for first time since 2005, poll finds

A USA Today/Gallup poll also shows that Democrats have improved their standing but are still below historical standards. The findings describe a much more level playing field as Republicans and Democrats head into the 2012 presidential election cycle.

January 27, 2011|By Michael Muskal | Los Angeles Times

Republicans are viewed more favorably than unfavorably for the first time since 2005, while Democrats have improved their standing but are still below their time-tested levels, the USA Today/Gallup poll reported on Thursday.

The findings describe a much more level playing field as Republicans and Democrats head into the 2012 presidential election cycle.

According to the poll, 47% of Americans said they had a favorable view of the GOP compared to 43% who had a negative view, a significant turnaround. Americans began to turn away from Republicans in 2005 and by the midterm elections the following year, Republicans rated 35% favorable and 58% unfavorable.

Democrats were also viewed better in the poll, but below the party's historical record, which is generally more than 50% positive. In the current poll. Americans split almost evenly on Democrats, with 46% saying they viewed the party favorably while 47% said they saw the party in an unfavorable light.

That finding is among the worst since 1992, but is significantly better that last March after the battle over healthcare overhaul. At that point, 54% had an unfavorable view of Democrats while 41% had a favorable view.

The findings are based on telephone interviews with 1,032 adults conducted Jan. 14-16. The margin of error is plus or minus four percentage points.

Michael.muskal@latimes.com

Twitter.com/LATimesmuskal

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