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Trust in GOP Reaches Record Low

Just 23 percent in a new Washington Post-ABC News poll said they trust Republicans more than Democrats to handle the main problems facing the nation, the lowest level reached by either party in surveys dating back to 1982.

A majority, 56 percent, trust the Democrats to handle the nation's top issues over the next few years, also a record in Post-ABC polling. But the GOP's recent losses have not translated into big Democratic gains, instead the proportion who trust neither party has climbed to 15 percent.

Trust in the GOP has fallen nine points since May, driven by a 19-point decline among conservatives. Nearly one in five in that group said they trust neither party.

Among independents, nearly twice as many said they trust neither party to cope with the nation's problems than trust Republicans - 28 percent to 17 percent. Nearly half - 46 percent - have more confidence in the Democrats, down seven points since May.

Republicans last held a significant advantage on this question in 2002.

Conservatives Pulling Away On Party Trust

May 2008


Dec. 2008


By Jennifer Agiesta  |  December 18, 2008; 7:00 AM ET
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Next: The Wide Reach of A Faltering Job Market


I'm sure after the Dems have their turn at running the Federal Govt for awhile their numbers will head south too.

Posted by: lorddunsmore | December 18, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

The economy is imploding by design so the globalist bankers can own and run everything. The issue is no longer which party can best manage the economy since both ignored warning signals. Madoff made off with billions right under their noses and overinflated egos. Will somebody please listen to Ron Paul??

Posted by: Freedomman | December 18, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

You liberals and leftists at the Post should enjoy your victory now because your Messiah Obama will lead this country into economic ruin. Socialism never has and never will work in the long run. Within three years, most of those who voted for your master and leader Obama will have deep regrets. Buyers remorse will cover the land.

Posted by: walterndebby | December 18, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

The public's lack of trust in the GOP is well earned.

Posted by: steveh46 | December 18, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Now that the Republicans, who have devolved into a regional party of the no-thinking southern states, have declared war on any member of the working middle class who can afford a car, send a kid to college or otherwise try and live a normal life, the poll results are not surprising. Indeed, as Republican Senators try to erase whatever gains in prosperity American workers have achieved over the years, the arguments coming from Shelby, Corker and their ilk are repugnant. If these slugs just want to be a couple of gofers for the ruling class, maybe they ought to move to China. They can beat up on all the peasants they want. What does the head of Wal-Mart make...$17,000.00 an hour? What do these anti-middle class Senators feel about that? What next, a roll back in the minimum wage so we can all be like Alabama?

Posted by: bookriver | December 18, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

walterndebby wrote:

You liberals and leftists at the Post should enjoy your victory now because your Messiah Obama will lead this country into economic ruin.


I can say with a reasonable degree of confidence that the poster boy for free market capitalism, George W. Bush, has already accomplished that task.

It's hard to imagine a scenario under which Obama...or anyone else for that matter...could do more damage to the economy than has been done by Bush and his republican enablers over the past eight years.

Posted by: mhhaggard | December 18, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

At last, much of the populace finally sees that the Republican Party's first principles mitigate against the interests of the middle and lower classes. Since Reagan, there has been an unprecedented and enormous shift of wealth from the middle class to the very rich and these policies are intentional. The facts and figures don't lie.

Aditionally, the Republican Party is home to fundamentalists who actually believe Planet Earth is six thousand years old, are against stem cell research which holds such promise for the future treatment of many diseases, believe there is a place with fire where you go when you die if you're not good and it is ruled by an entity with a red suit and a pitchfork. Never mind what they think is up in the sky.

How can anyone take them seriously?

Posted by: francis4 | December 18, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

You mean that people don't trust the party that lied us into the Iraq war, shredded our civil rights and deregulated us into a depression?

Posted by: Andrea_KC | December 18, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Typical reactionary thinking. While Bush's numbers hover in the 20s (abysmal to be sure) the Democratic majority Congress's numbers are in the teens. Everyone blames the President, regardless of the party...Carter was blamed for Stagflation, Bush is blamed for the current woes. What people conveniently forget is that, while the buck stops on the President's desk, it is put there by Congress and we, the American people, put Congress where it is. The federal leadership, Executive, and Legislative is in our power to control but we choose to re-elect the same people over and over. We have chosen our own fates by the politicians we keep re-electing. Remember, insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. We didn't get here overnight...we got here by re-electing the same people who failed to deliver in the last election. The failure of the federal government is not one person's fault, it is the entire country's fault. If you don't like the way things are, get out and change them, don't sit here whining about them.

Posted by: ckennick | December 18, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

The GOP has proven themselves to be total and utter failures as leaders: rampant corruption, lying to start a war, loss of millions of jobs, tax breaks for the rich, skyrocketing health care, trying to privatize Social Security, repeated economic disasters, avoidance of fixing oil dependence and Social Security, trying to rationalize a boondoggle like "Trickle Down Economics," destroying our national image, promoting terrorism and torture, and sending our economy into the toilet. The conservative buffoons can say that "Obama will lead us into ruin," but guess what guys? Your own 'messiah,' Bush, already took us there.... and it's going to take the Democrats quite a while to dig us out from all the damage the Republicans have done.

Posted by: rurik | December 18, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans' fall from grace is simply another symptom of a dysfunctional 2-party system. The Republicans as of late have shown themselves to be the party of White, upper and upper-middle class conservatives, while the Democratic party seems to be the party for everyone else that doesn't fit into that narrow niche. With this in mind, it's no wonder they lost.

The Republicans would come back with a vengeance if they realized one little known fact: most minorities are conservative. There is a large number of Latinos, Blacks, and Asians who oppose abortion rights and a staggering number that oppose gay rights. Did I mention that Blacks actually enjoy going to church? But they won't vote Republican because they think Republicans a bunch of racists with people like Bill O'Reilly, Strom Thurmond, Trent Lott and the entire Fox News channel representing the public face of Republican conservatism.

This is not a post-racial country, but it is a multi-cultural one. The Republicans just need to learn the new rules.

Posted by: white10777 | December 18, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

You liberals and leftists at the Post should enjoy your victory now because your Messiah Obama will lead this country into economic ruin.

Posted by: walterndebby | December 18, 2008 10:43 AM
You mean there is different path to ruin that George Bush and the Republicans in Congress haven't already taken? You mean it is possible he could do worse than the abysmal failure job already done by Bush? Or maybe he will just do the right thing, something ole Georgie couldn't.

Posted by: scrappyc20001 | December 18, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse


Arent we already in economic ruin. Its funny to see your zeal for our president elect to fail before he has taken office. In the mean time you have obviously closed your eyes the last 8 years to the disaster that was George W. Bush. So i am curious, what praytell do you think Obama is going to do worse than Bush hasnt done already?

Posted by: rharring | December 18, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

This unprincipled Bush Presidency is defined by eight years of endless corporate entitlements, corruption, lack of accountability and abuses of power, capped by the twin bookends of a catastrophic, immoral war in Iraq and a catastrophic, inexcusable financial debacle. And we dodged a bullet with McCain, surrounded by his Bush advisors while hiding his increasing dementia, and the barely literate Palin, whose 6 years in 5 colleges to get a 4-year degree didn't help her appreciate that Africa was a continent or that man never walked the earth with dinosaurs. That this administration has a single cheerleader left on the field is the best evidence I can find to testify to the power of cognitive dissonance.

But to suggest that the Democrats are better is to say that the 8-track is better than the reel-to-reel tape deck. A few minutes on and a few bucks in your pocket give you your choice among dozens of books written about this administration's high crimes and misdemeanors. Rep. Conyers, Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, wrote one himself but was too worried about the 2006 elections to use it. Then he feared Obama wouldn't be elected. Now he has no more excuses. Rep. Pelosi never had one. This coward, whose prior career was in PR (i.e., spinning bad news into good) simply said that defense of our constitution was "off the table"! How brazen and shameless. If the Bush administration hasn't committed high crimes and misdemeanors, how is it that the definition those terms have hanged so radically since Clinton? What else must they do to clear that bar? If the defense of our constitution is not the job of our representatives, whose job is it? If that's not their most important job, what is?

Both parties have betrayed their citizens' trust while pretending to do the people's business. Nader, Kucinich, Paul and a precious few others have shown courage and wisdom throughout this mess, but the rest should hang their heads in shame. Most have proven themselves to be shills for corporate America, which promotes the worst form of socialism: privatization of profits and socialization of risks, even at the expense of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness of real persons. Both parties deserve the trust normally reserved for used car salesmen.

A side note to Ms. Agiesta: Perhaps you could explain what the twin pie charts are intended to demonstrate? Not that it really matters, since the larger picture is crystal clear to anyone who pays attention to politics in this country.

Posted by: NYVegan | December 18, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Bad news for Republicans, but not good news for Democrats, which is pretty much the M.O. of Election 2008. So why are Democrats so pleased with themselves?

Posted by: rickbrownell | December 18, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

White10777:"...This is not a post-racial country, but it is a multi-cultural one. The Republicans just need to learn the new rules."

Remember, White, when "multi-cultural" was a dirty word among those who constitute the modern day GOP?

Given the changing demographics and increased enlightenment of the country, how are they ever going to walk back from that one

Posted by: stoneman48 | December 18, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Some of us would very much appreciate it if more people, instead of pointing the finger at others, and looking for some organization, be it political, social or economic to save them, took the time to first "think for themselves" instead of only "about themselves", and start by reaizing that "they are the government." Then, they might begin to accept their responsibilities as citizens, and begin behaving accordingly. Otherwise, they should "Take what they get, and quit whining." All they are doing is "boring the "H--L" out of the rest of us.

Posted by: rlaitres | December 18, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

riaitres:Some of us would very much appreciate it if more people, instead of pointing the finger at others, and looking for some organization, be it political, social or economic to save them, took the time to first "think for themselves" instead of only "about themselves", and start by reaizing that "they are the government." Then, they might begin to accept their responsibilities as citizens, and begin behaving accordingly...."

You live in a fairly enviable building in a fairly enviable neighborhood and you've a doorman on whose watch there have been numerous walk-in crimes--burglaries, muggings etc. You call out the doorman, lobby to have him fired and vow never to hire from the agency that visited him upon you.

Oh, and you spread the word about said doorman and said agency to other buildings on your block.

Now, is that "pointing fingers"? Or "[taking] responsibility" and "thinking for [oneself]"?

You make the call.

Posted by: stoneman48 | December 18, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

In the final analysis, it doesn't matter which party is "in power" -- our recent history shows that hegemony, whether held by either side, is inherently unhealthy to democracy. Questions like the following are the ones that should be raised:

1. What kind of balance is there between differing sets of interests? How is that balance maintained?

2. How productively do the proponents of opposing points of view interact within our system?

3. Do they emerge from their debates with solutions that effectively address the problems we face?

4. Is the range of participants in those debates sufficiently broad? Or are potentially valuable points of view being locked out or ignored?

I believe that the present "duopoly" two-party system has outlived whatever usefulness it may have once had. Electoral reforms that facilitate meaningful participation by members of the so-called "third parties" will increase citizen involvement and create a more inclusive and robust political system.

Posted by: smendler | December 18, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Walterndebby: Several banks & finance companies are seized by the government under Bush, yet Obama is the "socialist"?

I've never understood the types that whine that "the free market" is being usurped. You can't undermine what does not exist, political considerations have been overriding any rational market order since forever.

Posted by: toiletminded | December 18, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

The congressional Republicans obviously want the economic crisis to get worse. I was a Republican for over 25 years. The current Republican party is appalling in their mean spiritedness.

Posted by: Frames | December 18, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

23% favor Republicans and 56% favor Democrats. But the loss in confidence in the Republicans hasn't redounded to the Democrats advantage. Duh? Meanwhile the Democratic president elect is collecting approval ratings from the mid sixties to the mid seventies. Bush and the Republicans have run the economy totally onto the rocks and yet there are Republicans here threatening that disaster is about to happen. Guys it's happened. And Bush has had to resort to massive market intervention to stave off a complete collapse of the banking system. Have you folks been asleep for the past year?

Posted by: johnbsmrk | December 18, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Imagine that !!! After years of lying, cheating and trashing this country and its economy, Why did it take so long for us to discover that the GOP (current edition) is not to be trusted?

Posted by: sameolddoc | December 18, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Unless we make a fundamental change in the way we apportion Congressional districts, we'll continue to get this wide swings between the 2 parties. Essentially nothing real has changed since old George Wallace (you remember him don't you? If you do your an old man like me!) famously once said, "There's not a dimes worth of difference between the Democrats and Republicans".

To make real change, we need to reapportion districts on what I call the Square District Plan. All Congressional districts would be re-assembled based on census tracts which would be, accumulated by computers, into disricts that have borders of equal length; square, triangular or whatever, thus ending the age old Gerrymandering scheme used by BOTH parties to keep themselves in office.

So we'll see what difference Mr. Obama makes once he runs up against the entrenced pork barrelers come January.

Now don't everyone hold their breath. Even tho I voted for him, I don't expect miracles, or even any fundamental changes.

Posted by: prosper772 | December 18, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

smendler:"...I believe that the present "duopoly" two-party system has outlived whatever usefulness it may have once had. Electoral reforms that facilitate meaningful participation by members of the so-called "third parties" will increase citizen involvement and create a more inclusive and robust political system"

Wouldn't this (further) balkanise the American political process? Isn't there a benefit to be had from choosing between two "different" points of view? I know that that "choice" is often illusory but don't we gain in what little cohesiveness we have left as a nation from having two competing political philosophies, however both are compromised, then a thousand lilliputian niche parties giving the Congress the flavour of the Indian parliament or Israeli knesset?

I can see leaning your way but I haven't yet, for myself, pulled the trigger on a multi-party U.S..

Posted by: stoneman48 | December 18, 2008 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Oh, Walter and Debbie, when you give us your list of heroes, you whole argument goes down the loo.

Posted by: caesarganz | December 18, 2008 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Two words explain this:



Posted by: AxelDC | December 18, 2008 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Are you confusing communism with socialism? They are not the same. Democratic socialism is alive and well in northern Europe. Not only is it successful, the people who live in those countries are satisfied with it. Imagine that? People who actually like their government. Another thought to ponder, an international study found that the Swedes are the happiest people in the world. We sure can't say that for Americans.

Capitalism - I assume you are a free market capitalist - needs regulation for its own good. Otherwise, we get what we have. Huge disparities in wealth and health. Depression on a wide scale. Happy socialist, miserable capitalist. What a choice.

Posted by: Nora3 | December 18, 2008 8:34 PM | Report abuse

walter & debby- In case you haven't noticed, this country's economy is ALREADY in the toilet courtesy of Geo. Bush ,et al! We have no way to go, but up!!!!

Posted by: asclepious2 | December 18, 2008 8:48 PM | Report abuse

The late columnist of the San Francisco Chronicle said after Republican Pete Wilson was elected governor of California: "Its just as well. The Republicans steal less than the Democrats give away."
With AIG giving bonuses and raises to their executives, with our bailout money, Republicans are getting a bad name. With Chrysler laying off workers but continuing to pay white collar workers, the Republicans are sinking lower.
After five Republican-appointed U. S. Supreme Court Justices giving the presidency to W. Bush in Year 2000, Repubs sunk even further. W. Bush could have said that since a majority of the popular vote went to the Democrats, he could have been a "uniter" by sharing widely with the Democrats. Instead, he stuck to the stolen presidency and acted as abusive and stupid as Rush Limbaugh sounds.
The U. S. and its allies had control of the Iraq no-fly zones, with France and Germany offering planes and pilots, W. Bush went ahead with a war against Iraq. His goals were to take out Sadaam Hussein and to remove any WMD's. Both were done. So, why are we still there? The terrorists came from Saudi Arabia, but, the Bush clan is friends up to their dipsticks with the Saudi's.
When the White House was being questioned, W. Bush and Dick Cheney demanded that when they were questioned, they had to go in joined at the hip, just to keep their stories straight. And, the rotten White House exposure of Valerie Plame still stinks.
With some 30,000 infants and children starving and dying each day, W. Bush and his confused advisors refuse to support U. N. birth control plans.
The phony "religious right" says "no abortions." Girls are reaching puberty in early elementary school and can become pregnant. A ten year old girl in Chicago was reported to be on her second pregnancy. So if a "religious" rightist's daughter was raped, pregnant and dying, you can bet your rent money that they would approve of an abortion to save her life. Rev. Billy Graham said on Larry King Live that he was against abortion, except in the cases of rape, incest and abortion.
In summary, the GOP is a mess because the hypocrites think that people are stupid and ignorant. The truth is, many of are intelligent. I am a Republican and I consider myself an intelligent Republican.

Posted by: jhurley1 | December 18, 2008 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Dearest Walterndebbie,

How is it that Obama can lead the country into economic ruin, when it's already done in a most complete and total way? How can fools like you not understand that your beloved capitalistic free market crap has fully collapsed? Your methods have failed, and miserably at that! Even your former hero GWB is admitting that there's no way out. Capitalism is the approach that will never succeed in the long run, it does seem that way, now doesn't it friends? WnD, please, somehow, fight your way out of the moronic denial which has you entrapped, for we hope someday you'll join us, and the worrrrrld can live as one... pleeeeeeeeease

Posted by: mrichardson2 | December 19, 2008 12:09 AM | Report abuse

The great problem is Who will represent the Conservative view? I am a Democrat who is just to the left of center. As a John Stuart Mill Liberal who believes 'the Spirit of Liberalism is the Spirit of growth', I am well aware of the need for strength of a party that stands just to the right of center. The dynamic tension of the two party system drives America at a safe speed. The post-Nixon Repubican party got too far the the right. Chief1

Posted by: Chief1 | December 19, 2008 1:03 AM | Report abuse

Regardless of the poll, as a Democrat, I believe the Democratic Party was stolen from the centrist Democrats by the Obama campaign. The result may be the loss of congressional seats in the next two elections.

Posted by: MyOpinionCounts | December 19, 2008 2:22 AM | Report abuse

I trust Democrats to Raise Taxes...just like in California,Democrats want to tax gasoline again to help with budget.their thinking?..well Americans are use to paying $3.00+ a gallon so lets not let them get use to the finally sub $2.00 a gallon.

Posted by: JWx2 | December 19, 2008 3:50 AM | Report abuse

Republicans have been trying for years to create a Plutocracy, whereby the rich can control government and not only Lord over the masses but have economic power. The functioning illerate don't realize the concept of left and right. The all-important focus is distribution of power. Thus, those who favor power in the hands of the select few, the elitists, were to the right, and those who preferred to distribute power evenly and fairly, were to the left--the Democrats. What the Republican Party STILL has not realized and refuses to see is that the USA is a nation of the free, a land of hope, a nation of immigrants, new and old. They forget this is a nation built on the belief of government for the people, of the people, and by the people. Americans will never accept a Plutocracy. The Republicans accuse Obama of being a "Socialist" because he talked about the "FAIR" distribution of wealth. The Republican Party needs to understand Socialism refers to a broad set of economic theories of social organization. To make a long story short, an Egalitarian society is characterized by the belief in an equal political, economic, social and civil rights for all people. A belief the Republican Party does not like or want since it would not allow them control of the government or obtain more economic power so they can Lord it over the "loser classes." Sorry, Repugs, your beliefs will never work in a nation of "free" people. As you know, Americans will die to keep their freedom.

Posted by: agutierrez07 | December 19, 2008 6:36 AM | Report abuse

To walterndebbie: How far do you think our country is from economic ruin at this point in time? I haven't seen things this bad in my 66 years. You must be listening to Rush Limbaugh and watching Fox News.

Posted by: calvinskidmore | December 19, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

The Democrats will control the the Presidency and the Congress. As soon as all the promises they made during the campaign do not materialize and as the economy continues to falter, the Democrats' polling numbers will nosedive.
I say this as a moderate Democrat.

Posted by: Maryann261 | December 22, 2008 1:54 AM | Report abuse

it seems it would be very difficult for the republicans to reinvent their party. i'm sure they'll give it the old college try, but their thinking technically is rather parochial.
i am a democcrat--fairly centrist, sort of left of center. on tv, i watched the republican convention and some of their rallies. diversity was almost zero. most of their "diverse" constituency are from:
1) the "south" like parts of our country where you have to really "whiten" up for acceptance;
2) newly-coined or first generation citizens who still retain a bit of conservatism, born of hardship, from their third world countries;
3) that "i've made it in with the "in crowd." i will go along to get along.
my family is from a third world country - although, my folks had always been more liberal than conservative, and luckily for me, we lived in san francisco -- but i've seen other third world folks as being really tight fisted about everythng!
i digress -- my point is that the mentality that gravitates toward the
republican mind set is to be conservative (no duh,) short fuse on acceptance and that general distrust that "if you don't look like me, you can't be one of us."
again, i'm sure they'll give it a try to change, but how far will they go with such short-term minds ...

Posted by: janegrey777 | December 24, 2008 6:15 PM | Report abuse

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