The biggest problem facing the GOP this year is the increasing dissatisfaction their electorate has over the choices to take on President Obama. At a time when that dissatisfaction should be calming, the opposite is true:
Republicans evaluating the field of potential GOP presidential nominees are increasingly negative about the current slate of candidates, according to a new poll from the Pew Research Center.
Fifty-two percent of Republican and Republican-leaning registered voters said the GOP field was "fair or poor," an eight percentage-point increase since the question was asked in early January.
Likewise, the number of Republicans who had positive feelings about the candidates dropped. Forty-six percent rated the current field of four candidates "excellent or good," a drop from the 51% who had that response in January. The GOP field has undergone substantial change since then, with former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman and Texas Gov. Rick Perry dropping out of the contest.
Monday's poll from Pew, which was conducted in partnership with the Washington Post, is the first time since this election cycle the negative response from voters outweighed the positive. Pew began asking the question in May 2011.
This number will easily translate to a lower voter turnout in November and that means the GOP's chance of claiming the White House will evaporate. The fact that the Republican Party could not find a viable candidate to energize the base against Barack Obama in this economy really shows a more serious problem facing the party.