The favorability rating of the Republican Party has taken a sudden plunge, and is now at its lowest level in six years driven by a growing negative view of the GOP by party members.

A new Pew Research Center poll found that the Republicans and Democrats were both at 41 percent favorable just six months ago and now the GOP is down to 32 percent and the Democratic Party at 48 percent.

"The Republican Party's image has grown more negative over the first half of this year. Currently, 32 percent have a favorable impression of the Republican Party, while 60 percent have an unfavorable view. Favorable views of the GOP have fallen nine percentage points since January. The Democratic Party continues to have mixed ratings (48 percent favorable, 47 percent unfavorable)," said Pew.

And it's not just Democrats. The Republican flock also is growing tired of the party's leadership.

Said Pew: "The survey, conducted July 14-20 among 2,002 adults, finds Republicans, in particular, are now more critical of their own party than they were a few months ago. About two-thirds (68 percent) express a favorable opinion of their party, the lowest share in more than two years. Six months ago, 86 percent of Republicans viewed the GOP positively."

The survey also looked at issues and the top one for Republicans is gun control followed by fighting terrorism and the economy.

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at