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Graham: Polls factored into GOP folding

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Wednesday that the polling backlash against the Republican Party was one of the reasons Senate Republicans were eager to cut a deal with Democrats.

“Well you can’t let 20 or 30 polls cloud you’re thinking apparently,” Graham said sarcastically on CNN’s AC360. “Of course they had an impact, of course they had an impact. And to the people on my side that think this turned out to be a good idea, I just think that turned out not to be reality.”

A string of devastating polling released in the last two weeks showed the public’s view of the Republican Party has fallen to historically low levels. The surveys consistently showed the GOP bearing the brunt of the blame for the unpopular government shutdown.

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One Gallup survey showed that only 28 percent has a favorable view of the GOP, the worst rating Gallup has ever registered for a political party. That’s also a 10-point plunge from Gallup's previous poll in September, when 38 percent had a favorable view of Republicans.

“By the time we made the deal, we were at 75 percent disapproval,” Graham said of the agreement to resume funding the federal government, "not a whole lot of leverage when 75 percent of the people don’t like what you’re doing.”

Support for the Tea Party has also reached its lowest point ever, according to a Pew survey released on Wednesday. Pew found that a growing number of Republicans now hold a negative view of the movement, and overall only 37 percent of the public say they have a positive view of the Tea Party.

Congressional Democrats and President Obama have also seen their favorability ratings drop, but not nearly to the degree of their Republican counterparts.