IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Both political parties are unpopular — and divided — NBC News poll shows

First Read is your briefing from "Meet the Press" and the NBC Political Unit on the day's most important political stories and why they matter.
Image: Joe Biden
President Joe Biden arrives at the White House on Jan. 24, 2022.Andrew Harnik / AP

WASHINGTON — If it’s Tuesday ... The Pentagon has put 8,500 U.S. troops on “heightened alert.” ... Federal judges tossed out Alabama’s new redistricting map. ... Georgia’s prosecutor got her special grand jury in her investigation into Donald Trump. ... And Jessica Cisneros is on the air in Texas.

But first: Not only does our new NBC News poll show both political parties to be unpopular — with the Democratic Party (33 percent favorable, 48 percent unfavorable) and the Republican Party (34 percent favorable, 44 percent unfavorable) both underwater.

But you have to go back to 2015 when one of the two parties — the Democrats — actually had a net-positive rating in our poll.

That was seven years ago. Before Donald Trump captured the GOP presidential nomination, and before Bernie Sanders won his first primary victories against Hillary Clinton.

Now look at our poll: It finds the GOP split between those who consider themselves more supporters of Trump, versus those who are more supporters of the party — and the pro-party side has been growing since Trump left office. (By the way, Trump has a 90 percent-to-0 percent favorable/unfavorable rating with pro-Trump Republicans, while it’s 62 percent-to-20 percent among pro-party Republicans.)

And the NBC News poll also shows a split inside the Democratic Party — 40 percent of Democrats say they supported Biden during the 2020 primaries, 30 percent say they backed Bernie Sanders and 12 percent sided with Elizabeth Warren. (By the way, President Biden’s approval rating is 92 percent-to-7 percent among Democratic Biden voters, while it’s 74 percent-to-23 percent among Sanders/Warren voters.)

Now check out some of today’s political headlines.

McConnell-Trump deep freeze promises to define the midterm elections.

Schumer strategy leaves some Dems seething.

Critics say Ron Klain is too beholden to Biden's left flank.

Voto Latino is spending money for a possible primary challenge against Kyrsten Sinema.

Tweet of the day

Data Download: The number of the day is … 25

That’s the percentage of all adults surveyed in the latest NBC News national poll who listed “voting rights and election integrity” among the issues they consider the most important facing the country. The only issues that ranked higher were jobs and the economy, which was a key issue for a combined 42 percent of respondents, and the coronavirus, which 29 percent chose as a top issue.

The January survey was the first time pollsters included “voting rights and election integrity” as an option in the range of issues. It was also conducted from Jan. 14 -18, just as Democrats tried to move forward on sweeping election legislation, which may have contributed to its higher rank among the top issues.

The poll did reveal a stark partisan divide: Respondents were asked which issue — voting rights or election integrity — was more important. Sixty-seven percent of Democrats said voting rights were more important, versus 75 percent of Republicans who said election integrity.

Other numbers you need to know today:

24: The number of states, as of Sunday afternoon, where average, daily Covid cases are falling.

10 percent: The portion of employees in America who belong to a union, half the portion that did in 1983.

8,500: The number of U.S. troops on heightened alert as America weighs how to respond to Russia’s threats on Ukraine.

$13.5 million: How much cash Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, a Democrat, had on hand for his gubernatorial race at the end of 2021, after raising $6.3 million in the fourth quarter.

Midterm roundup

In Georgia, a legal spat between incumbent GOP Gov. Brian Kemp and his primary challenger, David Perdue, is shedding light on the ethical issues with a new campaign finance law, which allows Kemp and other incumbents in top positions to form “leadership committees” that can accept unlimited contributions and fundraise during the legislative session. One activist called the law “a huge problem for democracy.”

It’s back to the drawing board in Alabama (pending appeal), where a panel of federal judges tossed out the state’s new congressional map as a likely violation of the Voting Rights Act. The judges instructed the state legislature to draw two districts where Black voters make up a sizable portion of the electorate, instead of just one. The state’s filing deadline, which was set for Jan. 28, was also pushed to Feb. 11.

Democratic lawyer Jessica Cisneros has booked her first TV buy in her primary against Rep. Henry Cuellar. Right now, she’s booked about $41,000 and is going up with a health care-focused spot touting her support for Medicare for All. (Cuellar is also up on the airwaves)

Former Rep. Mark Walker, R-N.C., is making an announcement Thursday about his “2022 election plans.” Walker, who is currently running for the state’s open Senate seat, has also been weighing a House run.

The Office of Congressional Ethics referred investigations into two lawmakers to the Ethics Committee yesterday— Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., and Rep. Marie Newman, D-Ill. The committee will investigate whether Lamborn misused official resources, and whether Newman (who is running in a primary against fellow Democratic Rep. Sean Casten) promised a rival a job.

ICYMI: What else is happening in the world

The Los Angeles Times is spotlighting Republicans who are touting the success of an infrastructure bill they voted against.

The FDA is limiting the use of two monoclonal antibodies that aren’t effective against omicron, the current dominant strain.

State legislatures are trying to limit governors in the wake of their Covid emergency orders.