Oh for the heady days of August, when health-care reform was foundering and Republican leaders were talking of big victories in 2010. A new CNN/Opinion Research poll shows only 36 percent respondents view the GOP favorably, versus 54 percent who view it negatively; 53 percent had a positive opinion of Democrats, with 41 percent disapproving. Approval for the party hasn't been that low since summer of 2007, near the end of President Bush's second term. Public Policy Polling sees even more danger for Republicans, as 35 percent of its base voters think the party is too liberal, even as 46 percent of independent voters label it too conservative. The base's complaints have fueled a series of primary and third-party challenges against moderate Republicans like Dede Scozzafava in New York and Charlie Crist in Florida, making a tack to the center even more difficult. Just 20 percent of American voters identify as Republican, according to a new Washington Post/ABC News poll, which also found Democrats leading in a generic congressional ballot 51-39.
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