Favorability of Republicans – including Trump and McCarthy – has risen

Taylor OrthDirector of Survey Data Journalism
January 19, 2023, 2:59 PM GMT+0

Findings from the latest Economist/YouGov poll suggest that it's been a good week for the Republican Party. Over the past week, net favorability — meaning the share of Americans with a favorable view minus the share with an unfavorable view — has risen 6 points for the Republican Party, 15 points for former Republican president Donald Trump, and 9 points for newly elected House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. The rise in popularity among these two Republican politicians has been even sharper if you look to the start of December: Since then, Trump's net rating has risen 20 points and McCarthy's has risen 16.

This week, the Republican Party's net favorability is -3 among Americans overall (44% very or somewhat favorable, 48% very or somewhat unfavorable) — the highest it has been since Biden took office in January 2021. While Republicans' views of their own party fell slightly in the weeks following a disappointing performance in the 2022 midterms, their opinions of the party have since rebounded.

The rise in Trump's popularity is even larger. Among Americans overall, his net favorability is -3 (45% approve, 48% disapprove), up from -22 at the start of December. Around that point, Republicans' ratings of Trump fell to a new low since the start of his presidency in 2017, but have since bounced back to where they were prior to the 2022 elections.

But the largest shift over time has been among Democrats: Trump's net favorability rating now sits at -55 among Democrats — which, while low from an absolute standpoint — is the best it has been at any point since he first took office.

Since being elected speaker, views of McCarthy have also improved — at least among Republicans. At the start of December, his rating was just +18 among Republicans; now, it is twice as high at +36. Among Americans overall, it now sits at -2 (36% favorable, 37% unfavorable), the highest it's been since May 2021.

— Linley Sanders contributed to this article

See the toplines and crosstabs from the Economist/YouGov poll conducted on January 14 - 17, 2023 among 1,500 U.S. adult citizens.

Methodology: Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel using sample matching. A random sample (stratified by gender, age, race, education, geographic region, and voter registration) was selected from the 2019 American Community Survey. The sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, education, 2020 election turnout and presidential vote, baseline party identification, and current voter registration status. Demographic weighting targets come from the 2019 American Community Survey. Baseline party identification is the respondent’s most recent answer given prior to June 1, 2022, and is weighted to the estimated distribution at that time (34% Democratic, 31% Republican). The margin of error for the overall sample is approximately 3%.

Image: Getty (David McNew / Stringer)