A new Gallup poll took a look at what self-identifying Republicans, Democrats, and Independents love and hate about the GOP and the Democratic parties.
While Democrats, Republicans and Independents generally disagreed with each other, the one issue that reached an overall consensus was the GOP's "unwillingness to compromise."
Unlike the GOP, there was not as large of a consensus on what people disliked about the Democrats. In fact, while 10% of self-identified Republicans thought that the Democratic Party was too into "big government," only 1% of self-identified Democrats agreed.
Now, for the positives:
The big takeaway of the positive elements of the GOP is that culture war issues generally scored low. Only 3% favored the GOP's policy towards abortion, and only 1% favored their stance on immigration and family values. It just goes to show that in the eyes of most Americans, the culture wars are mainly over. At this point, it seems that only the fanatics on either side are still fighting it.
...Or maybe it's that the GOP has largely lost the culture wars? The 3rd highest scoring element for the positives of the Democratic Party was the fact that they're "inclusive/accepting of diversity." That said, pro-choice isn't even listed, and "gay rights" scored pretty low. Maybe a new culture war is brewing underneath the surface, and we are just not aware of it yet.
For almost every issue that some people (mostly Republicans) cite as positive about the Republican Party, others (mainly Democrats and independents) cite it as a negative. The negatives heavily outweigh the positives with respect to Republicans' perceived rigidity and perceived support for the rich. In some cases, positive and negative mentions of the party's positions roughly cancel each other out, including on abortion, immigration, and "economic policies." However, the GOP enjoys a positive tilt in the balance of views about its support for lower spending, smaller government, lower taxes, and its general conservatism. This may indicate that a key to Republicans' regaining favor with Americans is not necessarily to change their positions, but to be perceived as less dogmatic about them and willing to compromise to pass legislation. Of course, some Republicans oppose this position, including the 14% who say their party already compromises too much.
The leading positive perception of the Democratic Party nationally is that it cares about the middle or working class (a prominent sentiment among both Democrats and independents); however, this is matched by the percentage saying it spends too much money (a top negative mention among all party groups). Healthcare, gay marriage/gay rights, and abortion elicit equally high mentions as reasons people like or dislike the Democratic Party, while the impact of its policies on gun control (2% like the party's position; 4% dislike it), and taxes (1% vs. 4%) tilt slightly negative.