Poll: Plurality Of Voters Displeased With GOP House Majority, View Party As ‘Extremist’

April 12, 2011 8:22 am

Only a few months removed from a landslide election that threw control of the House of Representatives back to Republicans, a plurality of registered voters now say the new GOP majority is doing a worse job than Democrats did when they controlled the lower chamber of Congress.

In a PPP poll released Tuesday, 43% of voters said Republicans are doing a worse job running the House than Democrats did before being ousted in last year’s midterms. Meanwhile, 36% said Republicans were doing a better job than their counterparts, and an additional 19% said things are about the same.

The poll also found that a plurality of voters (48%) now say the Republican party is “extremist,” while 40% say the party is mainstream. The numbers were almost flipped on the Democratic side, with 46% viewing the party as mainstream, and 39% viewing it as extremist.Further, in a generic ballot question, Democrats came out on top 46%-41%. That’s a sharp reversal from last year when, in the days before the midterm elections, Republicans held up to double-digit leads in generic ballot tests.

And importantly, the poll suggests independents have swung back toward Democrats in large numbers. 42% of independents backed a generic Democrat, versus 33% who broke for the generic GOPer.

The current TPM poll average gives Republicans a slim 42.5% to 41.1% edge, with the margin shrinking rapidly since the end of last year.

In releasing the results, PPP called the findings great news for Democrats’ prospects in the 2012 elections.

“The conventional wisdom is that Democrats will have a very hard time winning back
control of the House next year,” Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling was quoted as saying in the press release. “But that may be wrong — voters have soured on the new Republican majority in record time.”

The PPP poll was conducted April 7-10 among 532 registered voters. It has a margin of error of 4.3%.

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