Republicans are losing August

Taegan Goddard
The Week

A new Gallup poll finds the summer has once again not been kind to President Obama, with his approval rate dipping yet again. In fact, August has historically been the worst month for his approval rating throughout his presidency.

But there's a big difference this year: Republicans have had a worse summer.

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Halfway through the August recess, congressional Republicans are still fighting with each other over the direction of their party. While they're united in hating ObamaCare, they have no coherent strategy for confronting Democrats and the president. Some want to shut down the government in an attempt to defund ObamaCare, some want to use the debt ceiling as leverage, and some think both ideas are nuts.

Newt Gingrich even slammed Republicans for having "zero answer" when it comes to an alternative health care plan.

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The battle highlights a huge divide in the Republican Party, which impacts nearly every issue before Congress. Ten months after a brutal loss in the 2012 election, the battle for the heart and soul of the party rages.

GOP strategist Mike Murphy elegantly summed up the problem: "The party is acting as if the entire world is a GOP primary. That is a very dangerous way to operate. We have massive image problems with the greater electorate, and the silly antics of the purist wing are making our dire problems even worse."

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With Democrats defending many open Senate seats in red states, Republicans may see a "dead cat bounce" in the midterm elections. But make no mistake: The party is slowly breaking apart.

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