Why Republican Approval is at a 15 Year High – And How to Keep it That Way

The beginning of 2020 was rocky for Republicans. Though many saw the Democrat’s impeachment stunt for the political sham it was, having a president accused of impeachable offenses during re-election is slightly unsettling. Now with President Trump completely exonerated, he is enjoying the highest approval rating of his presidency, and the GOP’s approval rating is simultaneously skyrocketing.

Trump stands at a 94% approval rating with Republicans, up six percentage points from last month. His approval rating also jumped five points with Independents since January. Under Trump’s America First vision, the GOP is attracting enthusiasm too – the Republican Party earned the highest approval rating since 2005 in February. According to new Gallup polling, 51% of Americans now view the Republican Party favorably, up from 43% in September. Democrats meanwhile have lost favor. Just 45% of Americans approve of the Democratic Party now, down from 48% in September. While Democrats have been scrambling to unseat President Trump in a series of bitter failures for four years straight, the GOP has been solving problems.

The GOP is Prioritizing Bipartisan Economic and Security Issues 

Recently, Market Research Foundation grouped Gallup polling on a range of public policy issues into categories based on voter satisfaction and partisan focus. The analysis revealed a majority of the issues Americans are most satisfied with – including the economy, the military, national security, and economic opportunity – are issues the GOP prioritizes. The top issues Americans believe are important, and are overall satisfied with, are shown below.

Issue Category Satisfied Unsatisfied
military strength 81% 13%
economic opportunity 72% 27%
national security 68% 27%
state of US economy 68% 29%
influence of religion in US culture 59% 38%

The same polling also revealed many of the top issues Americans are still unsatisfied with – issues like immigration, taxes, and the size of government – are issues the GOP places more emphasis on solving compared to Democrats. The top issues Americans believe are important, and are overall unsatisfied with, are shown below.

Issue Category Satisfied Unsatisfied
government in general 43% 57%
size of government 38% 62%
taxes 37% 60%
level of immigration in 2020 35% 57%
morals and ethics in US culture 32% 68%

Economic opportunity and military preparedness form the basic safety and wealth infrastructure of the country. By focusing on these issues instead of prioritizing fringe or wedge issues, the GOP is showing voters across the political spectrum that they’re listening and working to improve quality of life for all citizens.

The GOP is Avoiding Wedge Social Issues 

While the GOP has pulled back on social issues and placed the economy and national security front and center, Democrats have done exactly the opposite. Democrats are exasperating moderates and independents with fringe issues a majority of voters simply don’t prioritize. It’s hard to get elected as a Democrat without pandering to niche social justice causes, but according to the numbers, Democrats are wasting time with most voters. As shown below, well over half of voters are satisfied with gay rights and the position of women in the US.

Issue Category Satisfied Unsatisfied
position of women in US 63% 36%
gay rights 56% 40%

Healthcare and Poverty Remain Key Challenges for Republicans

However, the GOP has work to do to continue solving problems voters are unsatisfied with. The issues with the lowest levels of voter satisfaction are poverty and homelessness, affordable healthcare, and campaign finance reform, all of which Democrats tend to prioritize.

Issue Category Satisfied Unsatisfied
wealth inequality 43% 56%
gun policies 42% 55%
corporate power and influence 41% 58%
race issues 36% 58%
affordable healthcare 37% 60%
campaign finance laws 23% 53%
poverty and homelessness 22% 75%

The GOP has made issues voters across the political spectrum prioritize the focus of the party, and it has worked. Republicans have also avoided wasting time on fringe issues with minimal interest or wedge social issues. Strengthening the military, reworking trade deals in favor of the US, working to secure the border, and increasing economic opportunity through lower taxes are major accomplishments that improve life for most Americans. However, in order to appeal to moderates and Independents, the GOP needs to meet Democrats head on with solutions to issues like healthcare. Republicans can continue to build a broad coalition of voter loyalty by doing three simple things: prioritizing bipartisan economic and safety issues, allowing Democrats to chase down losing wedge issues, and offering superior solutions to poverty and healthcare.