Americans tend to view the Republican Party unfavorably, and even a majority of Republicans themselves said they were dissatisfied with their current choices among the presidential contenders, according to the Bloomberg National Poll.
The findings come as the GOP continues to gear up for the 2012 elections for president and for control of both houses of Congress.
According to the poll, Americans view the GOP unfavorably by a margin of 47% to 42%. By comparison, Democrats are viewed favorably by 48% and unfavorably by 42%.
Perhaps more striking, more than half of the Republicans said they were dissatisfied with the choices offered by the current crop of candidates for the presidential nomination. That finding, similar to other polls in recent months, helps explain why some elements of the party keep hoping that new faces, like Texas Gov. Rick Perry, will come forward as the campaign sweepstakes continues.
While some are pushing to expand the field, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney continues to hold a commanding lead, according to the poll.
Almost three of every five Republicans, 59%, said they have a favorable view of Romney, while 16% view him negatively. By a 10-point edge, Romney is viewed in a favorable light by independents.
Adding Democrats and independents to the mix pushes Romney's favorability down. About 37% overall gave Romney a favorable rating, and his unfavorable rating almost doubled to 31%. Almost a third, 32%, said they were unsure.
By comparison, President Obama's favorability rating was 54%, with 42% saying they viewed him unfavorably.
Among other presidential candidates, 43% of Republicans viewed Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) favorably and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty had a 29% favorability rating. The poll of 1,000 adults was conducted in the days after the June 13 GOP debate. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points for the full sample and 5.9 percentage points for questions involving only Republicans.