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Posted at 05:01 PM ET, 12/16/2011

GOP brand’s dip in polls due to Republican presidential contest, Sessions says

The Republican Party’s brand has taken a hit in recent polls, but it’s not Congress’s fault.

So says Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas), chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee and a member of the GOP leadership in the House.

In an interview with Bloomberg TV’s Al Hunt set to air this weekend, Sessions said that the GOP brand “is drawing a lot of attention and focus because of our presidential candidates who are talking.”

“Many times they’re talking about big, new, great ideas,” Sessions said. “Many times they’re attacking each other.”

“And that’s why the brand name has gone down?” Hunt asked.

“I think across the country, you know, this opportunity to support our ideas is really helping, but the opportunity to attack each other — we’ve had a candidate up for two or three weeks and then a candidate down for two or three weeks,” Sessions said. “We’ll get our footing real quickly.”

Polls show both political parties are unpopular with the public although the Republican Party’s approval rating has dipped lower than that of the Democratic Party in recent months.

An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll earlier this month showed 48 percent of American adults had either a “somewhat” or “very negative” view of the Republican Party. Forty-two percent of respondents had a “somewhat” or “very negative” view of the Democratic Party.

Both parties, however, are faring better than Congress as a whole: In October, a New York Times/CBS News poll showed congressional approval had dropped to a dismal nine percent, an all-time low.

A Pew poll this week showed 50 percent of Americans believe the 112th Congress has accomplished less than other congresses. Forty percent of those respondents say Republican leaders are more at fault for the gridlock, while 32 percent say it’s both parties’ fault, and 23 percent blame Democratic leaders.

By  |  05:01 PM ET, 12/16/2011

 
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