Poll: Republicans on Verge of Political Death

Independent voters return in a big way for Democrats.

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There's more evidence that the Republicans have placed themselves in a perilous position as voters begin to focus on their choices in the November election.

The latest national survey by the Democrat-oriented research firm of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner finds that, "The Republican brand is in a state of collapse—over 50 percent of voters give the Republican Party a cool, negative rating. The presidential race and the congressional battles are interacting with each other to drive down their lead candidate (Mitt Romney), the party, and perceptions of the congressional Republicans."

[Obama's Re-election Chances Looking Good.]

The poll of likely voters finds that Democrats are consolidating many of "the progressive voters ... who were responsible for Democratic victories in 2006 and 2008. These voters—unmarried women, young voters, and minorities—dropped off in 2010 and lagged throughout 2011. They have returned in a big way for Democrats, led by a resurgence and re-engagement of unmarried women. Only young voters have not been re-consolidated, which is either a problem or an opportunity."

The survey also finds that, "Romney may be on the edge of political death. The shift against him is one of the biggest in the polls and he now competes with Republicans in Congress for unpopularity."

[Newt Gingrich's Popularity Falling Fast.]

The survey was conducted for Democracy Corps and Women's Voices, two Democrat-oriented research and advocacy groups.

Among the survey's findings:

--Sixty-eight percent of voters disapprove of the Republicans in Congress, a 22-point increase from a year ago.

--Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, gets a negative rating from 47 percent of voters. About 32 percent give him a very negative rating, up 7 points since last month.

--Former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, who is vying with Romney for front-runner status in the GOP presidential race, gets a negative rating from 38 percent of voters and a positive rating from only 29 percent.

--Among the reasons for the Republicans' decline is a public perception that they blocked a payroll tax-cut extension (which has now been approved) and their perceived focus on social issues when the voters are most concerned about the economy, according to the poll.

--President Obama leads Romney among unmarried women by 65 to 30 percent, up from a lead of 54-37 for Obama at the end of last year--a huge factor in the president's overall upswing.

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