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Gallup: Favorability for both major political parties continues to dip

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For the first time since they began tracking political party favorability, a Gallup Poll shows fewer than 40 percent of voters view either party favorably. That means more than 60 percent view the parties as unfavorable.

It’s just a touch worse for Republicans. Only 37 percent of people polled view them as favorable. Two percent more view Democrats as favorable. Despite the slight advantage in numbers for Democrats, the poll doesn’t show much good for either party.

Democrats are lingering at a near all-time low since Gallup starting conducting this poll in 1992. Just last year the party’s favorability numbers dropped to 36 percent following the contentious midterm elections in which Republicans won control of the Senate and gained seats in the already controlled in the House.

While Democrat’s favorability went up slightly, the GOP lost five points since the midterms in November. Up until this latest evaluation, the party had been on a steady upswing. They went from just a 28 percent favorability rating in late 2013 in the wake of a government shutdown to 32 percent later that year and then 34 and 40 during separate polls in 2014.

Other than a brief spike after President Barack Obama’s re-election in 2012, both parties have remained below 50 percent favorability since 2010.

The results are also a step away from previous trends that showed voters tended to either favor both parties or one over the other. In George W. Bush’s final two years in office Republican favorability dropped during the start of the Iraq war. Democrats favorability also soared in 2009 at the beginning of Obama’s presidency.

The survey was conducted among 1,025 adults between March 5 and 8. Half of the respondents were reached on a cell phone. The other half were reached on landlines. The numbers were selected using random-digit-dial methods.

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Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email janelle@floridapolitics.com.

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