Poll: Republican, Democratic Party images equally negative

1992-2011 trend: Favorable/Unfavorable Opinions of the Democratic Party

Americans have generally viewed both parties more negatively than positively over the last two years. That is part of a large trend of mainly negative views of the GOP dating back to late 2005, while negativity toward the Democratic Party has been rare. Gallup first asked party favorables in 1992 and more Americans have viewed the Democratic Party unfavorably than favorably in just eight instances, all but one occurring since March 2010.

The public is even more critical of the parties when asked to evaluate the job the parties in Congress are doing. A Sept. 15-18 USA Today/Gallup poll finds 26% of Americans approving and 68% disapproving of the Republicans in Congress, and 28% approving and 66% disapproving of the Democrats in Congress.

The 28% approval rating for the Democrats in Congress is the worst Gallup has measured since the question was first asked in 1999. The prior low was 30% in December 2007.