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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

A new ABC/Washington Post poll shows that the Republican Party has alienated itself from both the American public and its base.

Only 23 percent say the GOP is “in touch with most Americans,” less than half who say the same about President Obama, at 51 percent.

But 70 percent, nearly 3 out of 4 Americans, say the GOP is not in touch with the public.

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The dissatisfaction with Republicans includes voters with whom they have typically performed the strongest.

“Among residents of the red states, those Obama lost by 6 or more points in 2012, 68 percent say the GOP is out of touch with the concerns of most Americans,” according to the report produced by Langer Research Associates.

Even 55 percent of “very” conservative voters and 64 percent of “evangelical” voters agree Republicans are not “in touch.”

It’s difficult to assess if the GOP base’s dissatisfaction comes from their party’s stand on the issues, which is generally out of touch with the public, or the sense that it may be about to compromise on issues like immigration or gun safety, where the base generally opposes the proposed legislation.

Americans support a path to citizenship for non-citizen immigrants by a nearly 2-to-1 margin. This was true whether respondents were asked about “illegal immigrants” or “undocumented immigrants,” the term preferred by the immigrant community and recently adopted by the Associated Press.

Nearly 9 out of 10, 86 percent, of Americans support extending background checks to gun shows and online sales. Bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines also have majority support at 56 percent despite their dismal chances of becoming law under the current Congress.

President Obama’s overall approval is steady at 50 percent, but 53 percent disapprove of his handling of the economy. Exactly two-thirds, 67 percent, say that jobs are difficult to find in their community, which is actually the lowest percentage to express similar pessimism in this poll since 2008.

The public’s frustration on the economy may be tied to the sequester.

One-third say they’ve been personally hurt by the automatic budget cuts negotiated during the debt limit crisis of 2011. That’s up 8 percent from last month. And 57 percent say they disapprove of the cuts, while about 6 out of 10 Democrats and Republicans say the sequester is hurting the economy.

Notably, the president’s proposal to change the cost-of-living index on Social Security to “Chained CPI” is opposed by majorities in both parties by a 51-37 percent margin, with 64 percent of seniors opposing.

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