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

CNN Poll: Americans place blame for partisanship


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.

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soundoff (307 Responses)
  1. Wanda in Montana

    I don't know how Obama can do any MORE to reach out to the people whose only motive is to see him (and America) fail! Did anybody think George W. Bush reached out to Democrats? EVER? He just gave us the reach around! Screwed and tatooed us big time.

    I say quit taking ANYTHING to the Republicans until they decide they want to work FOR Americans instead of putting all their efforts into working to regain power. They don't deserve power as they've only demonstrated that they abuse it when they do have it.

    February 24, 2010 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  2. bob

    Announcing his health care bill and the dems threatening a bill passage by reconciliation before his health care summit takes place should do wonders for Obama's rating on doing enough to reach across the aisle for a bipartisan solution.

    Democrats have dreamed of socialized health care for 50 years,why would any rational person believe they would change now?

    February 24, 2010 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  3. Serioulsy. Left

    Anyone who believes a CNN poll must also believe in global warming. LOL

    February 24, 2010 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  4. Bill or Vin from Philly

    The Republican party of No earned this, the American people are starting to figure things out.

    February 24, 2010 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  5. 12970

    It's easy to say the Republicans are not being bipartizan enough and let it go at that, but if the Democrats were unfied a defiant Republican bunch could do nothing to stop them. These are big changes that are coming, an honest debate on the issue would be most helpful. I am grateful to those Democrats, who have been willing to slow the process down just to debate some of the crazy measures promoted by their own party.
    As for the President, his bipartizanship ended with last year's WH Super Bowl Party. Actions speak louder than words and that was his last action towards bipartizanship. His latest meeting with Republican House Members and his Health Care Conference tomorrow are more about scolding than working together. He might learn like those who have gone before him, you must work with the other side, regardless of how unpleasant the thought may be.

    February 24, 2010 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  6. Ron in TX

    No need to pick and choose. Just vote out all of the incumbents. Maybe a new crop can work together.

    February 24, 2010 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  7. Party-of-No

    No Republican incumbent should be re-elected in this upcoming election! They are a waste of Tax Payers money. Reduce the deficit by getting rid of them! Getting big pay for just voting "No" on every issue.

    February 24, 2010 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
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