Good news and bad news for the GOP

The latest polls continue to show the presidential race as neck-and-neck. There are some interesting wrinkles, though.

* In good news for the GOP, Gallup reports that 44% of registered voters thought well of the Republican Party and 43% of the Democratic Party. While the Republicans’ favorable rating is similar to where it stood before the conventions kicked off in 2008, the Democrats’ is 11 percentage points lower. It is also the lowest pre-conventions favorable score the Democrats have received among voters in Gallup records dating to 1992.

* In possibly less-than-good news for the GOP, 51% of registered voters see Mitt Romney as unfavorable overall, according to an ABC/Washington Post poll. President Obama is rated higher, with 50% favorable and 47% unfavorable. For the perspective: “Romney’s favorability rating is the lowest of any major-party nominee at roughly the time of his convention in available data back to 1984; indeed he’s the first, at this stage of the campaign, to be rated more unfavorably than favorably by a significant margin. On the other hand, Obama’s net favorable rating is substantially lower than the four previous incumbents’ (Reagan, both Bushes and Bill Clinton) at this point.”

* While politicians’ position on abortion has grabbed headlines recently, the issue is not that big a deal to most voters, according to a CBS poll. As many as 57 percent of registered voters say it’s possible they would vote for a candidate that disagreed with them on the issue of abortion, according to the poll, conducted Aug. 22-26. Thirty-four percent said they could not support such a candidate. Not surprisingly, women feel much stronger about the issue than men.

— John Robinson

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