Republican Voters Aren't Too Happy With Their Party Right Now

A new poll shows they see the GOP as more divided than ever.
Notably fewer Republicans think there's a great choice among these guys.
Notably fewer Republicans think there's a great choice among these guys.
Paul Sancya/Associated Press

Republicans who don't support Donald Trump's presidential candidacy are horrified by his status as the GOP front-runner. Those who do support him are deeply mistrustful of the party establishment. The result? One increasingly unhappy party, according to a new HuffPost/YouGov poll.

This past October, Republican voters were bearish about their current elected officials and the future of the GOP, but overwhelmingly enthusiastic about their presidential candidates. In that poll, 80 percent pronounced themselves at least satisfied with the Republican primary field, surpassing the percentage of Democrats who said the same.

Since then, GOP morale has fallen substantially. While a majority still feel positively about their field of candidates, that percentage is down to 56 percent. Just 41 percent feel positively about the future of the party, and just 30 percent feel satisfied with their current officeholders. Only 11 percent believe the party is more united than it is divided.

That doesn't necessarily spell electoral trouble for the GOP. Fewer than 1 in 10 Republican primary voters say they'd opt for the Democratic candidate in the general election, regardless of who wins their party's nomination.

Republicans' views do, however, contrast sharply with opinions among Democratic voters, who remain largely optimistic about their party's future. Democrats' satisfaction with their presidential candidates has ticked up modestly since October. They're now 15 points more likely than Republican voters to be satisfied with their choices, instead of 14 points less likely to feel that way.

About three-quarters of Democrats continue to say they feel positively about their current elected officials and the future of the party, which most generally see as united.

Republicans have been deeply unhappy with their party for some time now, but until recently, much of that anger was focused on Washington, and on a Congress seen as both insufficiently conservative and capable of accomplishing nothing. Against that backdrop, GOP voters' enthusiasm for their 2016 field looked like a notable bright spot for the party. Now that's looking less and less like the case.

The HuffPost/YouGov poll consisted of 1,000 completed interviews conducted March 2-4 among U.S. adults, using a sample selected from YouGov's opt-in online panel to match the demographics and other characteristics of the adult U.S. population.

The Huffington Post has teamed up with YouGov to conduct daily opinion polls.You can learn more about this project and take part in YouGov's nationally representative opinion polling. Data from all HuffPost/YouGov polls can be found here. More details on the polls' methodology are available here.

Most surveys report a margin of error that represents some, but not all, potential survey errors. YouGov's reports include a model-based margin of error, which rests on a specific set of statistical assumptions about the selected sample, rather than the standard methodology for random probability sampling. If these assumptions are wrong, the model-based margin of error may also be inaccurate. Click here for a more detailed explanation of the model-based margin of error.

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