February 24th, 2010
12:54 PM ET
5 years ago

CNN Poll: Americans place blame for partisanship

ALT TEXT

The public has plenty of blame to go around for the partisanship in Washington, according to a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll out Wednesday . (Photo Credit: Getty Images/File)

Washington (CNN) - Two-thirds of Americans think that the Republicans in Congress are not doing enough to cooperate with President Barack Obama, according to a new national poll. But a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey, released Wednesday morning, also indicates the public says that the Democrats should be the ones to take the first step toward bipartisan cooperation and they want the Democrats to give up more than the GOP to reach consensus.

Full results (pdf)

Sixty-seven percent of people questioned in the poll say that the GOP is not doing enough to cooperate with the White House, up 6 points from last April. Americans appear split on whether the president is doing enough to reach out to the Republicans, with 52 percent saying Obama's not doing enough to cooperate with the GOP and 47 percent saying he is doing enough to reach across the political aisle. The 52 percent who say the president's not doing enough to encourage bipartisanship is up 16 points from last April.

"That's a big change from last spring, when Obama was still in the honeymoon phase of his first term," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Congressional Republicans were familiar to Americans, but Obama was new to them, so his early attempts to reach out to the GOP continued to resonate even after it became clear that bipartisanship was not within easy reach."

Even though more people think the Republicans rather than the White House are not doing enough to reach bipartisan consensus, according to the survey, 54 percent believe the Democratic party should take the first step toward developing bipartisan solutions to the country's problems. Forty-two percent say the GOP should take that first step.

Just over half of those questioned say the Democrats should give up more of its proposals to achieve bipartisanship, while 43 percent want to see the GOP make more compromises.

"Americans feel the ball is in the Democrats' court," adds Holland. "They may not be held responsible for the problem, but since they are in charge of the government, Americans appear to think they are responsible for the solution."

According to CNN poll numbers released Sunday, Americans overwhelmingly think that the government in this country is broken, but the public overwhelmingly holds out hope that what's broken can be fixed.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted February 12-15, with 1,023 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points for the overall survey.

– CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.


Filed under: CNN poll • Popular Posts
soundoff (307 Responses)
  1. wally

    The problem with this poll is that most people who respond to it don't know what "Waterloo" was!
    Just count the Fillibusters and the 290 Bills that are stuck in the Senate due to the party of "NO" and you'll know why Washington isn't working.

    February 24, 2010 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  2. dan

    looks like both parties are on the outs to me... they better learn how to cater to principles rather than party... soon party will get you no where!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 24, 2010 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  3. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Who are the 52% that say Obama isn't doing enough to reach across the aisle? Are they all GOP Senators? Give me a break! CNN must have conducted the poll at a Tea Bag Convention!!!!!

    "52 percent saying Obama's not doing enough to cooperate with the GOP and 47 percent saying he is doing enough to reach across the political aisle. The 52 percent who say the president's not doing enough to encourage bipartisanship is up 16 points from last April."

    February 24, 2010 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  4. How To Bankrupt America-Put a Dem On It

    NObama/Dems are spending money like a drunk sailor on a credit card and have NOTHING to show for it.Get them out and gone.

    February 24, 2010 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  5. A keen observer

    Obama has gone out of his way to try to engage the Republicans but that bunch of racist idiots are united in trying to cause the President to fail. The party of angry old white men cannot stand to see a black man succeed. The GOP is no longer the party of Lincoln; it has degenerated into the party of Klansmen!

    February 24, 2010 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  6. yem

    I am writing this to plead with all those in gov. to come togther and help the American people. Scott Brown is an example. If his vote siding with the Dems. helps one person who is suffering, it is well worth it.I am so proud of him. Also do something about the Health Care Issue. It will help so many more millions and will cost less than what we spend on emergency treatment.

    February 24, 2010 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  7. Max

    Just ask my Republican Congressman Howard "Buck" McKeon (CA25) about any piece of legislation that you don't agree with and his first immediate response is to blame the Democrats for their Congressional majority.

    My Congressman disgusts me, the way he handled the health care town hall, the way he handles tele-town halls. And I have NO DOUBT AT ALL that this strategy of his to blame Democrats for everything bad while taking credit for everything good comes straight from his party bosses in DC.

    Full disclosure: I am a registered Republican.

    February 24, 2010 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  8. Robert

    President Obama, has done a lots of things trying to reach Republicans, but Republicans agenda is to block the president's agenda for him to fail. What republicans do not understand is that Obama won't fail, but the country will.
    On the other hand, Republicans voters are just focus on making sure everything is blocked.
    last night I watched Larry King and was upset to see that old crazy lady who just open her mouth to attack Obama's administration. The media should be more responsible on bringing people to offer solutions rather than havind two republicans and two democrats fighting on national television.

    February 24, 2010 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  9. donttreadonme

    "his early attempts to reach out to the GOP" Really??? This is the most partisan President we have seen in a long time.

    Jan 23. 2009 President Obama ended a debate over tax policy by saying that his opinion prevailed because "I won." So much for working together, shows you just how unprepared he was for this job.

    February 24, 2010 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  10. Rick

    Wow, a CNN poll. They're really accurate. Funny that the next two stories show falling support among youth for Dems, and Repub Pat Toomey with a 10 pt lead on Spechter in PA. Just wait until after the sham-summit. Go for reconcililation, Obama. Please!

    February 24, 2010 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  11. c spurgeon

    I don't agree with either the right or left but believe the republicans are disgusting at this point, lies, obstruction..

    February 24, 2010 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  12. Jack in Florida

    Republicans are definitely the party of NO!!! The blame rests with them as they are such sore losers, that they will do anything to make sure Barack Obama fails.

    Let's put the people in your district first and your petty politics last!!! A little cooperation, please.

    February 24, 2010 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  13. CHARLES E MONELL

    Apparently most Republicans are so mentally challenged that they are incapable making up their own minds and are the followers of the leader.

    February 24, 2010 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  14. Jerry

    Obama, Reid, Pelosi are helping the conservative movement more than any other people and for that I say thank you. This health care bill couldn't be turning out any better. By ramming this through using tricks and back room deals and lies, and forcing down the throats of americans who do not want this, and by only partisan votes, this will not only end the careers of hundreds of democratic poloticians but it will set up the Republicans to easily win back majorities in congress and will easily reverse everything Obama has done. Ha Ha Ha Ha I love it, thanks Obama, Reid, and Pelosi.

    February 24, 2010 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  15. Steve

    The teaser for this article on the main page says "GOP gets bad news in poll". These poll results don't seem particularly bad for the GOP, at least not any moreso that for the President or Democrats in general. Just sayin'.

    February 24, 2010 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  16. Mike

    In my pipe-dream of the future, voting booths will have one additional option for each office: "None of The Above." And if "None of The Above" wins, all the candidates are tossed out and new candidates found for a subsequent run-off.
    Yeah, I know; fat chance. But wouldn't it be nice if you didn't have to vote for the Lesser Evil anymore?

    February 24, 2010 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  17. JDD

    "Americans feel the ball is in the Democrats' court," adds Holland. "They may not be held responsible for the problem, but since they are in charge of the government, Americans appear to think they are responsible for the solution."

    Which 'problem' is he refering to here? This is a bit of an ambigious, broad statement.

    February 24, 2010 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  18. chedar

    The only descent republican I know is Sen. Scott Brown. He is so far uses his intelligent to do bipartisan work. I hope you become a president someday Scott. I will vote for you in a heart beat

    February 24, 2010 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  19. dave

    get rid of the party of no in washington(republicans) and you will see washington start to work again.

    February 24, 2010 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  20. Michele R.

    It's a truly sad state of affairs when the mission of each major party seems only to be to discredit the other. We all saw how much dialogue didn't take place during the national town meetings. Is there any coming back? Everyone I speak with is disgusted, disillusioned and blames all politicians across all party lines for this impasse. Time ran a great article recently about politics being frozen in D.C.; should be required reading for anyone who might still believe that government works for the people.

    February 24, 2010 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  21. Jacob

    no kidding!?

    the elected GOP should be ASHAMED of themselves! trust me, the country (and world) is watching!

    February 24, 2010 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  22. Janice

    That's great, the people want the Republicans to "cooperate" with the President! Pretty difficult to "cooperate" when you, and your constituents, don't agree with his plans. But it's impossible to "cooperate" when one party holds closed-door meetings about legislation and then cries to the press that the Republicans aren't adding to the discussions!! I am an independent and am trying to be very objective. What I see, and what I believe is obvious, is that the Democrats are not allowing the Republicans to participate, then they blame the Republicans for not being bipartisan. And they cry when the Republicans don't agree - their plans are so liberal OF COURSE the Republicans are not going to agree! I want less government. The more government, the more control. I don't need or want the government to control me. It's all too ridiculous.

    February 24, 2010 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  23. Bill123

    Please how can the Dems have bipartisan cooperation with the Republicans when all the GOP do is say "NO". the Debt Comission is a prime example seven Republicans supported it to get the country budget inline. President Obama comes out in support of it and all the Republicans vote aganist thier own bill.

    Pleae give me a break the Republicans President George W,. Bush hand President Obama the biggest thinks to correct since FDR came in to office. There is no way we can fix this problem without raising some taxes. President Obama was handed two wars, economy that was falling over the clift too.

    February 24, 2010 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  24. JDD

    There's a big question at this time as to what constitutes authentic "bipartisanship." Surely it doesn't mean just being invited to meetings, and then shut out of the discussion. Surely it doesn't mean that at least SOME bad ideas have to be accepted in the name of progress. Surely it doesn't mean that, if I'm given 100 things I disagree with, in the name of good-faith bipartisanship I should still support at least 40 of them.

    February 24, 2010 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  25. single mom

    I'm not sure which to question more – the validity of this poll or the sense of the people they polled. Until Scott Brown was elected, the Republicans couldn't do more than put up road blockjs to the Democrats' legislation. It was the Democrats who were their own worst enemy. Well, that and brokering billion-dollar bribes for Senate votes, trying to ram through bills that the American people were quite vocal in opposing and their arrogant manner in front of the cameras.
    I'm guessing this poll was done in places like San Francisco, NYC and Chicago.

    February 24, 2010 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
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