A Washington Post poll shows that the Republicans are out of touch with a majority of Americans on things such as gun control, economic policy, and immigration.
It finds that only 23 percent of Americans — that would be fewer than one in four — believe the Republican Party is “in touch with the concerns of most people in the United States today,” while 70 percent believe that it is “out of touch.” Among independents, those numbers are 23-70. Among moderates they’re 20-75.
By contrast, Americans say by 51-46 that Obama is in touch. Among moderates that’s 56-42 (he fares worse among independents, 44-53, though far better than Republicans).
At the same time, the poll finds the public siding with Obama and Democrats on many major issues surveyed. Americans disapprove of the sequester cuts, 57-35 — cuts that Republicans are describing as a “victory” for them. Americans support a path to legality for illegal immigrants by 64-32. In fairness, the poll doesn’t test citizenship specifically, so this finding is somewhat inconclusive, but a new CNN poll finds that 84 percent back a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who have a job and pay back taxes.
Meanwhile, on guns, the new Post poll finds that Americans support a law requiring background checks on gun sales at gun shows or online by 86-13. A majority, 55 percent, believes it’s possible to make new gun control laws without interfering with gun rights.
And yet… chances are very good that the Republicans will be able to stop any meaningful gun control legislation, they’ll stymie immigration reform, and they’ll refuse to do anything about the economy because, well, they can. And chances are that they will hold on to the House in 2014 because thanks to gerrymandering and manipulation in state legislatures, they are all in safe seats even if the majority of the people vote for someone else.
But is there any point at which the party’s overall image — and its unpopular stances on specific issues — actually do begin to matter in some concrete way? Is there any point at which it becomes clear that the current GOP strategy — make a deal with Democrats on immigration, but nothing else — is insufficient? What would that look like? Anyone?
Probably when it looks like Rand Paul will be the GOP nominee in 2016.