A new Associated Press poll reveals that 25 percent of Republicans and 13 percent of Democrats dislike their own party. But despite negative attitudes, most voters do align themselves with one of the two political parties.
According to the online survey of 1,354 adults, 6 out of 10 Americans pledge allegiance to either party, with that majority rising to 8 out of 10 factoring in poll-takers who say they "lean" Republican or Democrat.
"Yet both Democrats and Republicans inspire unfavorable views by a majority of Americans, including one-quarter who say they dislike both of them," writes the AP's Jennifer Agiesta. "About a third go so far as to say they distrust both parties to handle some of the most basic functions of government: 35 percent trust neither party to handle the federal budget, and 34 percent trust neither Democrats nor Republicans to manage the federal government or address the concerns of 'people like me.'"
Rather than defecting, party loyalists stay put, with about 4 out of 10 saying they like their party's policies in general and have long identified as Republicans or Democrats. Around 1/3 of Republicans and 1/4 of Democrats say they don't completely support what their parties stand for while a small percentage of poll-takers chalk up their party affiliation to distaste for the alternative.
The poll also evaluated how Democrats and Republicans view one another as the American political climate grows more polarized. Of those surveyed, 22 percent think "conservative" when they think Republican with 24 percent pinning a "liberal" label on Democrats. Moreover, 21 percent assume Republicans to be pro-business and supportive of the wealthy.
A one of the respondants, a self-professed Democrat, said she thinks her party cares "about the underdog more than those in the upper socio-economic classes."
Last month the Pew Research Center released the eye-popping results of a year-long polarization study that surveyed 10,000 Americans on their political views. It discovered a greater ideological distance between Republicans and Democrats than in years past and also found an increase in the number of people expressing partisan antipathy.