Democratic Party's Favorability Declines as Tom Perez Takes Reins of DNC

Democratic National Committee chair Tom Perez / Getty Images
April 18, 2017

The Democratic Party's favorability rating has declined in recent months, according to a new Pew Research poll released on Monday.

The poll found that a majority of Americans, 51 percent, have an unfavorable view of the Democrat Party, while 45 percent have a favorable view. Back in January, the numbers were reversed, with 45 percent holding an unfavorable view of the Democratic Party and 51 percent holding a favorable view.

The decline was steeper among Democrats themselves or Democratic-leaning voters.

Only 70 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents view the party favorably, according to the poll. The last time the Democratic Party's favorability among Democrats was this low was in December 2014, the month after Democrats lost control of the Senate following that year's midterm elections.

As recently as January, 82 percent of Democrats and independents leaning in that direction viewed the Democratic Party favorably. That number was up to 87 percent in October.

The declining favorability numbers have coincided with a change in Democratic Party leadership in recent months. The party elected former Labor Secretary Tom Perez to be chairman of the Democratic National Committee back in February. He beat out Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison. The progressive wing of the party was upset about Perez's election, since he was viewed as the establishment candidate who represented the same thinking that lost them the 2016 presidential election.

Since Perez took over the DNC, some Democrats have expressed frustration with the direction of their party.

Last week, Democrats blamed the DNC  and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for their loss in the special congressional election in Kansas, the first House race since Donald Trump became president. Former Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) blamed the DNC for not devoting enough resources to the the election. Perez rebutted Sanders' assertion on Monday, defending the DNC's actions.

On Monday night during the DNC's "unity tour," a national speaking tour with Perez and Sanders traveling the country to help unify Democrats, Perez's name was booed by the audience.

Under Perez's leadership, Democrats have failed to win special elections across the country.

The Pew poll released Monday also found that 57 percent of respondents have an unfavorable view of the Republican Party, while 40 percent have a favorable view. In January, 49 percent of Americans said they viewed the GOP unfavorably, compared to 47 percent who viewed it favorably.