It's not such a grand old party, after all.
Republicans are increasingly pessimistic about their political future in light of some recent missteps by President Donald Trump, with 39 percent of Republicans now worried about the GOP, a new poll shows.
That's up nearly 20 percent since Trump assumed the nation's highest office. The Pew Research Center poll released on Tuesday was taken in late September, amid controversy surrounding Trump with his NFL battle and global criticism of his alleged inaction in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria.
The decline in optimism was reported across most Republican subgroups, especially college-educated Republicans, whose optimism dropped by nearly 30 percent in the first months of the Trump presidency. Notably, Republicans without a college degree—the majority of Trump's base—are optimistic about the future of the party, and overall, still carry the majority viewpoint for Republicans.
The Pew Research survey was conducted around the time that Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, and officials slammed Trump for not doing enough to help the 3.4 million citizens affected by the natural disaster. Around the same time, Trump appeared to incorrectly identify the location of the island and attacked football players in the NFL for kneeling during the national anthem, calling them “sons of bitches,” who should be fired by franchise owners.
Additionally, Trump highlighted escalating tensions with North Korea during a divisive U.N. speech in September that was rebuked by global leaders. “The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself and its allies it will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea,” the president said. “Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself,” he said, using his now familiar moniker for Kim Jong Un. Some Republicans reportedly called the 41-minute speech "very dark."
Across the aisle, Democratic views have shown little change since December 2016 with modest differences in current attitudes. Liberal optimism plummeted significantly after Trump beat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election, dropping from 77 percent to 64 percent.
One person remained notably optimistic about the Republican party despite historically low approvals—Trump. "Clinton failed, Bush failed, and Obama failed. I won't fail," Trump tweeted during rising tensions with North Korea.