The Pew Research Center regularly surveys Americans on their views of the two major political parties. Since January, those with a favorable opinion of the Republican party have dropped from 41 to 32 percent of the total.

Opinions of the Democratic party are mixed, with a net plus-1 favorability. For the GOP, it's far worse, with a net -18.

The change since January has largely been among Republicans themselves. Republican favorability toward their own party plummeted 20 points, while independents viewed it 8 points less favorably. Democrats, who are never big fans of the opposition, looked at the party a bit more negatively, too.

It's tempting to leap to a very close-at-hand conclusion: That Donald Trump is, as predicted, tanking his party! His views are driving away a key part of the party's base!

Maybe. And maybe not.

Pew also asks respondents for their opinions about which party is doing a better job with various issues. One might think that if people were turning on the GOP because of Trump, it's because of his immigration position. But in recent surveys, attitudes toward the Republican Party have tracked with attitudes toward the Dems.

Yes, opinions of the GOP dropped -- but so did opinions of Democrats.

The Republican Party is also seen as being more extreme in its positions, by a 17-point margin. But last October, that spread was 16 points. It hasn't really changed.

Pew dives deeper into the immigration question, determining that while white women are about split between the two parties, white men prefer the GOP's handling of immigration by a 20-point margin. Those without college degrees back the Republicans by even more, a net of 24 points for the Republicans.

The question, then, might not be "Is Trump driving people away from the party." It might be "is dissatisfaction with the party what's fueling Trump?" Those without college degrees and men back Trump strongly, as we've noted before (as do a number of other groups, of course). Lending support to the idea that it's anti-party sentiment that's helping Trump (and not vice versa) is the fact that Ben Carson -- dissimilar from Trump in countless ways -- is the second-highest polling Republican.

Maybe, though, it's Trump that's fueling that anti-party sentiment. We've entered the realm of the rabbit hole here, in which it's impossible to tell which end is up. The answer that's probably closest to the truth is this: "Donald Trump's rise has alienated some voters but is also due in part to dissatisfaction with the Republican Party."

But, then, we knew that.