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. Lynne

    Yes, as usual, it's the Democratic party that has to take the lead in cooperation since the Republicans are so rigid and stubborn to admit they have any wrongheaded policies. I do not want policies based solely on the Repubs policies (as they only help corporations and the wealthy). You can see where those policies got us during the disasterous Bush/Cheney years. Bills should be based on what both parties can agree on because together the parties represent the whole country, and they should be able to achieve this without putting their re-election priorities first and the good of the country last.

    February 24, 2010 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  2. Puddin

    The Republicans just don't get it. They did not win the election, the Democrats did! They seem to believe that even so, they will not participate in anything that isn't THEIR idea. They do not want to give the president any credit and, indeed, have said it out loud, "we want him to fail." They do not care about US citizens; they care only about THEIR agenda. I don't know what more anyone expects of the president as far as reaching out to the Republicans. He has bent over backwards to include them, but they get in their corner and begin their favorite past time (pouting) just as though they are all only ten years old (or less). It is disgusting and repulsive!!!!

    February 24, 2010 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  3. GI Joe

    He gave them half of what the American people wanted, and that's not enough?

    Every concession is brought with DeMint in the background whispering "waterloo".

    Vote the obstructionists out. We need people who are willing to work for US (or they should join us in the unemployed, uninsured lines).

    Start in November, 2010.

    February 24, 2010 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  4. Yvette

    When are you guys going to post Obama's poll numbers – it's funny how I haven't seen it posted in a while (I wonder why)!

    February 24, 2010 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  5. Matt from Toronto, Canada

    I also blame the GOP.

    February 24, 2010 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  6. Darla (Edmonton, Canada)

    CNN ... you really had to take a poll to make this analysis?!? Just look at the 290 bills that are bottle-necked in the Senate because of the filibuster rule. The GOP couldn't care less about governance or the American people.

    February 24, 2010 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  7. Bertina

    Well duh. This poll should have taken place back in Aug when everyone was thinking the Tea Party won the war against big govt. Apparently America actually likes it if it actually gives them things.

    February 24, 2010 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  8. Anonymous

    The GOP still wont get it. They'll continue to lie and obstruct because that's what thet do best!!

    February 24, 2010 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  9. BowTie

    I disagree that Obama should give up more to Republicans. They have made it clear that they are going to oppose anything he does just because he does it. He should move ahead with his agenda, leaving the door open for the GOP if it ever decides to contribute anything of value but not standing around waiting for something that isn't likely to happen. Both our country and our world are tottering on the verge of a much larger disaster than we have seen so far. What the GOP is doing is not just irritating, it's extraordinarily dangerous for all of us. We really need a new second party.

    February 24, 2010 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  10. anon72

    LOL keep trying CNN.

    You won't be able to stop us.

    I seriously think you should change Ticker to either Palin Bashing and/or Republican bashing.

    I wish you would be a real news organization and actually start doing some real reporting. Polls are self generating news. Get off your asses and get out there and DIG.

    Again I say, your time in the news world is limited.

    February 24, 2010 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  11. Ben Farleigh

    I don't trust the polls done by CNN. We all recognize that CNN is very biased and tries to slant news to suit their political philosophies.

    February 24, 2010 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  12. ThinkAgain

    Look, Americans elected President Obama based on his campaign agenda. The Republicans LOST – and rightly so, given their tried-and-failed policies that resulted in a huge mess, not to mention a global financial meltdown.

    The Republicans are the ones who need to cooperate; their agenda is NOT the ones the majority of Americans want. Our country is a democracy, where the majority rules.

    The GOP needs to suck it up, stop whining and start working with the President on HIS agenda.

    You know, they need to put our country ahead of their party.

    February 24, 2010 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  13. LIP

    Reality check...
    When someone extends a hand and asks for help, it shouldn't bite that hand before anything can be done. Republicans ae becoming gun shy, what with all the "saying one thing and doing another" by this President. Can you really blame them for being rather reluctant to step up to the plate when the President is thowing curve balls?

    February 24, 2010 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  14. n

    This is one poll. In essence it looks like the Republicans are to blame for saying no to everything and anything, but the blame has to fall on both parties. They have been playing political football for years while the middle class suffers. I do believe the Republicans need to get their act together and try to find compromise. It also holds true for the Democrats.

    I am starting to consider independent candidates.

    February 24, 2010 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  15. jenn, philadelphia

    How can you say "Americans overwhelmingly think..." whey you only questioned 1,023 people in the country? The messages from each party are "the republicans are the party of no" and the democrats have the "we won, we get to do what we want" attitude. When their majority/minortiy positions are reversed, it's the other way around. It's what they do and yet, somehow, things still get done. Apparently they do find a way to work together.

    February 24, 2010 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  16. beth

    And we needed a poll to realize this?

    February 24, 2010 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  17. Bill

    You call that bad news for Republicans? I call the results of this poll a wake up call for the arrogant Democrats.

    February 24, 2010 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  18. dblzap

    Want to fix congress?

    Get rid of the obstructionist GOP senators, and that would be every one of them

    Now that wasn't to hard was it?

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

    Interesting. What have they done lately to reach across and past the so called cooperation issue?

    February 24, 2010 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  20. Candi

    Get rid of NObama and the Dumocraps and it will work.Do not want what they are selling.The morons just do not get it.

    February 24, 2010 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  21. terry,va.

    Can you believe that Obummie has started his 2012 campaign today? Wonder what kind of smoke and mirrors and campaign slogan he will come up with? This is what he should say. "I hope you have some change left. I need it to give to the sorry so I can get them to the polls to vote for me."

    February 24, 2010 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  22. Democrats will destroy this country

    Enough already with these fake CNN/Democrat Party polls. Everyone knows it's the left-wing scum that's creating all this country's problems.

    February 24, 2010 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  23. EDDIE

    Well these people that say that the President needs to more to cooperate with the GOP,they simply need to pay attention to what'a going on.Because He can't bend much further.Geez, pay attention to what'a going on .

    February 24, 2010 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  24. Jeff

    Spin, spin, spin. Nice try, jagoffs; we'll see what happens in November. I already know.

    February 24, 2010 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  25. ken

    i guess if i have to admire the new senator from mass. for breaking ranks, i have to put joe lieberman in that category also. this "my party right or wrong" partisanship is what put us in this hole we're in right now.

    February 24, 2010 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
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