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.

Filed under: CNN poll • Popular Posts
soundoff (307 Responses)
  1. Jim Mc Carthy

    If CNN is not in the progressives back pocket no one is....I am tir5ed of the lies... Read FOX they are for real on both sides and believe it or not they tellthe truth and back it up...Isn't that interesting

    February 24, 2010 05:44 am at 5:44 am |
  2. Tom in Delaware

    Thank God the Republicans are stopping the Socialist Policies.

    Get rid of Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi and the entire Liberal Agenda of reckless taxing, spending and entitlements that have nothing to do with the role of government and everyone will see more Bipartisanship.

    February 24, 2010 05:49 am at 5:49 am |
  3. ib

    The demo's need to get off this my way or the highway bit or they might be shown the highway in Nov. I want the republicans to stand up to Obama; he is destroying this country with his out of controll spending.

    February 24, 2010 06:08 am at 6:08 am |
  4. Real American

    The far right rammed its initiatives down our throats unopposed for six long years. It is now time for America to recover from this – and time for the Democrats to show us they have a spine. I have relatives who took a bullet defending America against the Nazis in WW2. Risk of losing their cushy jobs is the least that a few Democratic congressmen could do to now defend America against the Republicans.

    February 24, 2010 06:17 am at 6:17 am |
  5. Larry

    I thought we sent our representatives to Washington to express our needs as a people, not for them to get caught up in games for their own personal gain.

    It's time to start voting these clowns out of office. We need new blood in Washington.

    February 24, 2010 06:22 am at 6:22 am |
  6. Marie MD

    Regardless of bipartisanship, I put most of the blame on the repugs who refuse to work with the President on anything.
    Calling for the Administration to fail and remarks like healthcare will be his Waterloo.
    Their hatred and bigotry is showing while we, the American public, are hurting.
    Start doing the job you were voted to do and stop with the bickering and the me, me attitude.

    February 24, 2010 06:26 am at 6:26 am |
  7. Stephen in Bedford, TX

    When you have prominent members of congress like Sen. Tom Coburn of proclaiming that he likes gridlock because no bills get passed, what should you expect.

    REPUBLICANS ARE THE PROBLEM HERE FOLKS. Listen to what they are saying and what they are offering. Nothing.

    The current group of republicans need to be voted out of office and replaced with more people like Scott Brown, if you must have a republican.

    February 24, 2010 06:45 am at 6:45 am |
  8. Marie Laveaux

    I'm not sure how much bipartisanship is possible at this point, given that the Republican Party has a stranglehold on any person who is running for office with an R behind their name. Since it appears the aim of the GOP is to wrest control back at any cost, including stopping Congress and the President in their tracks, I cannot forsee any great steps forward at this time. Perhaps the Obama administration could reach out more, but I don't think Republicans are sincere about wanting to work with him. I hope the Democrats and moderate Republicans can get something done for the sake of the American people, who by and large seem to be important only when our votes are needed.

    February 24, 2010 07:03 am at 7:03 am |
  9. Miss Independence

    This is why we need term limits...go to your state legislatures and demand it put into your state constitutions....make these idiots accountable.

    February 24, 2010 07:04 am at 7:04 am |
  10. jules sand-perkins

    This poll was based on the false premise that opposition to President Obama's agenda is based on partisanship.
    Opposition to the President's stated goal, "to spread the wealth around," is based on an understanding that Marxist economic systems do not function in reality.
    Human nature is the reason that they don't work.
    If you are honest with yourself, you will realize that you have very little motivation to do hard, excellent work if you are required by law to give most of the money you earn to other persons.
    The economic disaster in our country exists because too many citizens do not work enough, or do not work at all because bad bills got passed into law.
    The opposition to President Obama's jolly old Saint Nick list is opposition to the folly of Marxism, not to the President's political party.

    February 24, 2010 07:16 am at 7:16 am |
  11. leonardofru

    This is a CNN poll. What else would the results be. GOP bad and Barry the God King good.

    February 24, 2010 07:18 am at 7:18 am |
  12. Jeff

    I'm baffled by the idea that it should be the democrats to extend the hand to move forward with compromise. There are 290 bills, some dating back to Spring 2009 held up in the Senate by Republican "threats" of Filibuster. Do the American people know this? Do they know that the filibuster is being used as a weapon to quelch legislation in an effort to ensure failure of the President at the expense of the America People whom many of which are suffering immensely during this recession? It sounds selfish and un-American to me.

    February 24, 2010 07:27 am at 7:27 am |
  13. joel palmer

    This just shows (again) the appalling ignorance of the American people. Brainwashed since biirth with dumb religions and jingositic fervor; the vast majority are woefully uneducated about important issues and outright deluded about others (UFOs?; Creationism). It would make sense to require people to pass an IQ test to be able to vote. Stupid is as stupid does

    February 24, 2010 07:27 am at 7:27 am |
  14. Micah

    Who are these pollees? The Democrats have already given up the parts of health care that will actually WORK in a failed attempt to appease Republicans. They have already offered tax CUTS that do not help the economic recovery to appease Republicans. We have extended the wars, against progressive principles, again to appease the right. We sit and listen to Beck, Rush, and Palin slam the President day after day, no matter WHAT decision he makes. I'd say it's time for the Democrats to say "No More!" and get something accomplished this year.

    February 24, 2010 07:28 am at 7:28 am |
  15. Scott, Tucson

    Now why would anybody want to cooperate with obama when this guy is trying to ram a bad health care bill down our throats when he along with all politicians and their favorite unions are exempt from it?

    obama says we must watch our spending while he's getting ready to pour a billion plus of our tax dollars to fund a new embassy in Britain, where is that money going to come from, his Stimulus-3 bill? So much for fiscal restraint on his part. Bush can't touch this guy when it comes to spending, obama is breaking all records and this country.

    February 24, 2010 07:31 am at 7:31 am |
  16. Independent One

    This is why a THIRD PARTY is needed

    February 24, 2010 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  17. Nancy

    I think the Republicans should give up their nonsense of Party of No. This is not a Democrat issue. When I look at what Rachel Maddox have to report on the Democrats and Republicans, I feel that she is reporting news that is not normally reported on any other station. She really do her homework and go above and beyond her duty to make sure her information is correct. Now my take on this is; if the Republicans would have had the power they would not have cared or dare the Democrats to rebulk or even Fillaplaster their bill nevertheless stand in their way. While the Republicans support giving to the rich more, the Democrats wants to give to the people who needs it and not make the rich more richer but spread some of that money to everyone in need.

    February 24, 2010 07:37 am at 7:37 am |
  18. givemecrat

    we won get over it still stick in the mind of a lot of Americans
    the arrogance of the entitlement party is so blatant that it turns people off
    If we want true hope and change TERM LIMITS TERM LIMITS TERM LIMITS

    February 24, 2010 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
  19. Sadie

    I think the President has reached out many times to try to get the Republicans on board.......but they continue to say NO to everything.....Republicans want it their way or NO way, they want to make the Pesident BEND to their way of doing things or to their Ideas, they try to put the blame on the President or the democrats when they are not willing to work toward any of Obamas solutions or ideas.......and Washington will never be FIXED until the American people hold the Republicans accountable for their actions.....and if you think the Republicans are the solutions for America and our problems......think again they are the ones that got us into this mess, they never once put up the Road Blocks for Bush and Cheney when they were in office running this country into the debt that started our downward slump......

    February 24, 2010 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  20. stormerF

    How can the Republicans work with the president when they are shut out of any negoiations in the house and senate,and the president does not even read the bills before he tries to push them forward? Blind faith is not always a good thing when,there are other un-pure motives involved.

    February 24, 2010 07:47 am at 7:47 am |
  21. AJP

    I don't see how this nation can continue in the path we are on.

    Congress has the biggest bunch of cry babies I have ever seen.

    We need to have more people in congress like Brown from Massachusets.

    I can't believe his own party called him a turn coat when he voted for the jobs bill.

    We are headed for a one party system which is not good and the one party will not be the Republican party. They all need to wake up and quit acting like babies.

    The people need to kick more incumbents out if they keep on the same path.

    February 24, 2010 07:47 am at 7:47 am |
  22. chris tx

    Stubborn old men/women from both parties =/

    I do have to give the GOP one though... fillibuster/vote no constantly and then campaign on nothing getting done in Washington to win elections.

    Something interesting... by nature, the GOP is very exclusive and consists of less members in Washington and the Dems are more inclusive and larger. This should explain to anyone each one's ability to fall in line/cooperate and which is really being stubborn with "our way or no way!"

    February 24, 2010 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  23. Sue

    There will never be any bipartisanship as long as the GOP has decided to be the party of NO so they can make this President fail.
    There have been many concessions made with no reach back.
    When the FAR RIGHT controls all of the GOP in congress like puppets.....there will be no bipartisanship.....time to work without them.
    And the people doing the voting......WAKE UP....do not vote people in office who are out only to ruin the President rather than work with him to get us out of the mess left behind by the REPUBLICANS.......
    You can't reward bad behavior....or it continues....
    If no one votes republican until they are willing to compromise then and only then will you see bipartisanship return. But certainly not when they are being rewarded for NO and HYPROCRACY!

    February 24, 2010 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  24. britto-fl

    It's amazing the gop spends so much on critizing/whinning that they just don't have time for solutions, ideas, or maybe write a simple proposal to see if what they are about makes any sense besides kissing up to the teapartiers becuase frankly that's all they got to show for! Obstructionist! Party of NO!

    February 24, 2010 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  25. scott from Michigan

    Please Post a Record of how many times in Obamas first year the GOP has just said NO to items presented by Obama or Dems. Its INSANE that the GOP has seen NOTHING – Not One thing in an entire year they can agree with at all????? Voting a sraight NO – or condenming anyrthing Obama has done that didn't require a vote. PLEASE post That information so the American people can be reminded of the GOPs agenda - make Obama ineffective. Also– you can add into your presentation the Many Many times Obama puts forth something the GOP has screamed about wanting - just to REJECT the same idea when Obama initiates it!!!! I'm sick of it. Show the Facts about what the heck the GOP is doing! !!

    February 24, 2010 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
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