The Republican party is enjoying its highest favorability rating in seven years, according to a Gallup poll released on Monday.
Almost half of those surveyed in the poll, 45 percent, said they view the GOP positively, the most since January 2011, when 47 percent had a positive view of the party. Democrats, meanwhile, are one point behind at 44 percent favorability. Both parties have a 52 percent unfavorable rating.
The numbers are encouraging for the GOP, but the party that controls the executive branch usually loses seats in Congress in midterm-election years. Republicans have faced an uphill battle this cycle as previously safe incumbents such as Texas senator Ted Cruz have met with unexpected difficult races.
The poll was conducted September 4 to 12, just before Democratic senator Dianne Feinstein referred a letter about sexual-assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh to the FBI. Since then, Democrats and Republicans have battled over scheduling a vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation. Democrats have come under fire for what critics say are insincere tactics to delay the nominee’s confirmation, and Republicans have been criticized for continuing to stand behind a man with allegations of sexual misconduct hanging over him.