Washington (CNN) - As a battle looms between Democrats and Republicans in the lameduck Congress over extending Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, a new survey suggests that two parties don't see eye to eye over the art of compromise.
According to a new Gallup poll, 59 percent of Democrats say it is generally more important for political leaders to compromise to get things, with 18 percent saying it is more important to stick to your beliefs. But 41 percent of Republicans questioned in the survey say it is more important for lawmakers to stick to their beliefs even if little gets done, with 32 percent saying compromise is more important.
The poll indicates that by a 49 to 24 percent margin, independent voters say it is more important for politicians to compromise to get things done rather than sticking to their core beliefs. Those numbers are close the 47 to 27 percent margin in favor of compromise for all Americans questioned in the survey.
The GOP made major gains in Congress in last week's midterm elections, mainly by opposing over the past two years the agenda of President Barack Obama and Democratic congressional leaders.
"Because this was the first time Gallup has asked the question about compromise versus holding firm in one's beliefs, it is not clear whether the partisan differences in the poll are typical or whether they reflect Republicans' and Democrats' responses to the current political situation," says Jeffrey Jones of Gallup.
The poll indicates that the public is much more likely to say that Obama will make a sincere effort to work with Republicans on Capitol Hill (64 percent) than they are to believe that congressional Republicans will make an effort to work with the White House and the Democrats in Congress (43 percent). Gallup points out that the difference could stem from the tendency by Americans to rate the president more positively than Congress.
The Gallup poll was conducted November 4-7, with 1,021 adult in American questioned by telephone. The survey sampling error is plus or minus four percentage points.
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