WASHINGTON, March 25 (UPI) -- Confidence among Republican voters that the presidential election process is working as it should has dropped precipitously over the last two months.
According to Gallup, the percentage of Republican voters and independents who lean toward the Republicans who agree the electoral process is working properly has fallen to 30 percent, down from 46 percent in January.
By contrast, the percentage of Democrats who think the process is working properly remains equally dismal, but has held steady throughout the campaign, at about 32 percent.
Gallup suggests the reason for the souring Republican mood could be the presence of Donald Trump at the head of the GOP field. In recent polling, Gallup said Trump is the most disliked Republican presidential candidate in recent elections, dating back to 1996.
"It is unclear from the data if partisans are reacting to the developments in their own party's nomination race, the other party's nomination race or both," writes Gallup's Frank Newport. "Republicans' increasingly dour sentiments may be related to Trump -- either the increasing inevitability that he will gain his party's nomination, or the way controversial aspects of his campaign have dominated the news."
As for the Democrats, who have steadily held a dim view of the electoral process, Newport said that could also be a reaction to Trump's candidacy.
"Democrats' more stable but still cynical views may be based on their views of what is happening on the GOP side, or they may not be pleased with something about their own party's campaign," he said.
In January 2008, in the heat of the primaries during the last open seat election cycle, roughly two-thirds of voters on both sides said they thought the electoral process was working the way it should. That race included then-Sen. Barack Obama, whose popularity was high, along with Sen. John McCain as one of several GOP candidates near the top of the field.
Gallup's poll surveyed 1,012 American voters from March 16-17. It has a margin of error of 4 percentage points.