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. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert but....

    They must not have surveyed the "real Americans." You know, the ones who want to "take back their country" from the evil socialists. Have a nice day!

    February 24, 2010 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  2. John Black Hills/SD

    The GOP leadership have lost themselves by not evolving into a 21st century political party. The old way of business in world politics has died, that's why the stench of decomposition is ripe in Washington DC.

    February 24, 2010 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  3. terry,va.

    The problem we have was created in November 2008, when Obummie fooled enough people into thinking he would govern from the center. A lot of people have awoke to find that this guy is a extreme leftist at best or a socialist. I believe Obummie is a socialist and I don't like how he is stealing from those that work and giving to the sorry. Of course the sorry is a big voting block for him.

    February 24, 2010 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  4. Greg

    From what I can tell, if more Americans want the liberals to give up their ideas on legislation than conservatives, that's a problem for the Democrats NOT the Rebulicans

    February 24, 2010 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  5. FOrmer Soldier

    So, if you go to your wife/husband every day and ask them to help you with a few issues and all they ever do is tell you that your entire concept is wrong and, no, they will not even discuss it with you, then, you probably won't have a successful marriage. The Republican party has been saying exactly the same things for years. They cannot see that it didn't work, and yet, they simply refuse to listen. The American people are the children of a very disfunctional family right now. Hope they can patch things up soon, or we will all live in a 3rd world country. This is really unacceptable. And, BTW, Democrats, YOU HAD THE ENTIRE GOVERNMENT!!! DO SOMETHING WITH IT!! The Republicans would. Sad how right Mark Twain was.

    February 24, 2010 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  6. geecee

    Glad to see Americans have finally awakened to the fact that the Grand Obstructionist Party is willing to let America be destroyed before it will give Obama the time of day, especially if he wants to do something positive and helpful for the USA. These "Country First" angry teabaggers are destroying their own Country in the process, but they don't care, as long as Obama fails. They want to destroy him so badly, despite the fact their hatefulness could destroy our Country. Sick people, really sick!!

    February 24, 2010 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  7. lookit

    maybe America is FINALLY wising up. The Republicans are a bunch of joyless, soulless tools for big business – if you don't have tens of millions in the bank, you're not on their radar, plain and simple.

    February 24, 2010 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  8. Terry in Iowa

    Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell, Nancy Pelosi & John Boehner, all need to be taken behind the wood shed and throttled. They each have consistently demonstrated the inability to lead, a zeal for partisan politics and a gross neglect in their duty to the American people.

    Bipartisanship comes from both sides, it takes putting country before party. Not one of these individuals has demonstrated that they care about anything other than the power of the office.

    It’s time to fire the lot of them.

    February 24, 2010 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  9. DAW, NC

    I agree that both sides should bend some, that does not mean that the republicans say their way or no which has been what is said so far. It would be nice if they would give some good ideas. Tort Reform is only one idea, allowing insurance across state lines sounds like an idea but has a dark side for the consumer i.e. companies will go to the state with the least regulations and base out of there. this is not necessarily good for the consumer.

    February 24, 2010 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  10. Jim

    Of course they blame Republicans – shills like CNN and the like work to make sure that they are blamed. Case in point – Republicans have quite a few alternative plans (specifics too!) posted on the web and spoken about by various Republicans BUT CNN and the like (poitical shills posing as news agents) refuse to cover it and instead ignore the plans and ignore them when they are mentioned.

    And before some crackpots try to say I am a right-winger or something, I am an old-school libertarian who doesn't support most Republicans or their plans. It is a matter of integrity which this site (among most "news" sites) has decided to not have integrity.


    February 24, 2010 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  11. Chad from Tampa

    So even with the Dems in complete control of the House, Senate and White House, the GOP is the party to bame??? Alrighty then....

    February 24, 2010 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  12. D. Eisenhardt

    The republicans haven't done anything to take care of the country, only themselves. They are more concerned with getting power back in the whitehouse. They just don't get it and Mitch McConell is one of them that's worse than most. He's against anything the white house tries to do. I will never vote republican.

    February 24, 2010 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  13. Vasilisa C. Hamilton

    I am a Christian, socially conservative Democrat, and I think many of the Republican party's leaders are being unreasonable. They should have learned from the Reagan years that supply-side economics just don't work. These economic problems didn't develop overnight, so they can't be solved overnight. Eight years of Bush administration policies that overwhelmingly favored wealthy individuals and corporations are what brought us here.

    I am blessed and thankful to have full-time employment with health benefits that cost a great deal, pay for precious little, and continually eat away at the amount of money I bring home.

    Something has got to be done about health care. No more excuses, demagogueury, and protecting wealthy Americans who have excellent benefits like the members of Congress enjoy. If they took a walk in the average American's shoes, I think we'd see more "compassionate conservatism," not just in words, but also in deeds.

    February 24, 2010 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  14. RealityKing

    Great diversion tactics from CNN's progressive polling director!

    If they keep minimizing the Obama administration failures by focusing on the failure of the whole government people might just forget the reality of the last year..., NOT!!

    February 24, 2010 10:49 am at 10:49 am |

    Congress did not put themselves in office we the public put them there. We should blame ourselves for chosing bottom feeders that only run on rhetoric.

    February 24, 2010 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  16. Gil Oberdas

    Not doing enough? They are blocking him at every turn. They even co-author bills and when Obama supports them they vote against their own legislation. The Party of No needs to be flushed as they are so biartisan they are not considering America or Americans. Boehner and McConnell have the republican zombies in their control.

    February 24, 2010 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  17. Republican Turned Democrat

    It is frustrating to see the GOP's continue to be the "NO" party. Unfortunately, from Day 1 of Obama's presidency, the GOP's agenda has been to make sure the Administration fails and they want to see Obama become a 1-term president. No matter how hard Obama reach out to them, they would always say no to everything this president does for the country. The Republicans are being paid by us the taxpayers, but instead of spending their times working for the people and for the best interest of the people, they spend their times finding ways and means to harm the president. This attitude by the GOP's will only continue to divide our great nation. All we can hear is the bickering and nothing is done for the country.

    February 24, 2010 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  18. maggie in PA

    I am discussed with both parties. They are voted in to represent their people in the state they came from, no matter what party they are. There needs to be some give and take. The President represents all people not just the democratic party. Everyone should be voted out. The states need to take more control of what is happening in their own state. Stop this voting by party. It makes the average person not want to vote. Why? The people we vote for get so bogged down in the life style of Wash DC they forget where they came from.

    February 24, 2010 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  19. liberal wing nut

    And what about the moderate Dems who where the actual ones to stop Obama's socialist agenda?

    February 24, 2010 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  20. Monkey wrench

    Our government is broken, our system is broken, our politicians are merely puppets dancing to the special interest lobbyists that put money in their pockets. Our Nation was founded on a set of principles of small Federal Government and States Rights, our forefathers had played the same game in Europe that we are playing now. We seem to have lost our way and we will continue to spiral until the American people wake up and educate themselves as to what made our Nation great in the first place and reinstitute those philosophies in a reduced Federal government. Big Government lies and promises to take care of us and provide for us are what have led us to the precipice of financial collapse. Remember JFK stated ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country, he understood. Barrack Obama is diametrically opposed to this concept of governance and is doomed to fail and will continue to lead our Nation into the abyss!

    February 24, 2010 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  21. MJ

    Very deceptive; Republicans win debates and elections by magnifying differences, and by moving the government OUT of our lives, not by cooperating with Democrats in moving government further in.

    February 24, 2010 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  22. Eddie B

    I really feel that the Republicans have waged war against any intitiative Barack Obama supports. Their strategy is clear to everyone that they will refute Barack and block everything leading up to the next election even if these intitiatives are what is best for the country.

    I feel Barack is doing way too much to appease them and compromise. He was elected to be bold and to carry out his initiatives. He is letting the GOP dictate his agenda too much and that is going to cause him to lose support.

    February 24, 2010 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  23. Sally

    This is incredible! The Democrats should give up more? The Republicans have given up nothing....nothing! They just say no and offer nothing constructive!!!!!!!

    February 24, 2010 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  24. Dale

    Republicans "Want Obama to fail". That's their words, not mine. They want Obama to fail, even if the whole country stagnates economically. They want Obama to fail even if that means uninsured Americans dying from treatable diseases. They want Obama to fail, even if that means losing wars. They want Obama to fail- even if that means terrorists succeed. Republicans practically celebrated when the Obama administration failed to stop the underpants bomber and they gave no credit when the Obama administration stopped several other terrorist attacks.

    Republicans– party before country.

    February 24, 2010 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  25. mar

    GOP is actually defending being the "party of no". They are proud of what they are doing to stop anything that president Obama presents.

    February 24, 2010 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
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