A recent poll by the Pew Research Center attracted a great deal of attention because it found that 62 percent of respondents agreed with the statement that the Republican Party was “out of touch with the American people”; only 33 percent disagreed. … By 52 percent to 42 percent, Americans said the Republican Party was “too extreme.” Conversely, only 39 percent saw the Democratic Party as too extreme, while 56 percent did not.
As Republicans enter this month of budget battles, their leaders seem keenly aware of these numbers. Among rank-and-file GOP members of Congress, it’s a different story. [cont.]