Republicans Overcome Image Gap

Last year, I noted that the GOP brand was in terrible shape and asked whether this would damage the party in the coming midterms. In recent months, however, the gap has narrowed, suggesting that the opposition party's image is a lagging indicator (the GOP's image also improved between June and November 1994). More evidence for this hypothesis is now available from a a CBS/NYT poll (PDF) released last week. It shows that the GOP's net favorability gap with the Democrats has shrunk from 19 points in September to nine points now (GOP: 41% fav./52% unfav.; Dems.: 46% fav./48% unfav.). While these figures are still anomalous, there's no reason to think that the public's unfavorable view of the Republican party will prevent the the expected GOP wave in tomorrow's elections.