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. JLM

    The party of no ideas is the reason nothing can get done in Congress, they only offer stall tactics.

    February 24, 2010 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  2. JonDavis

    From 2001 to 2009, Republicans, with a razon thin majority (including a president who was elected by fraud) transformed the U.S. into an economic wasteland by sending out troops out on false missions and our jobs to China, and who trampled our Constitutition into dust while letting our infrastructure rot....and it's the Democrats who should ask Republicans for permission to fix things?

    The problem isn't the Republicans or the Democrats, it's We the People. We the majority truly are as clueless and ignorant as...and it's hurts me to say this...Sarah Palin.

    February 24, 2010 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  3. sifto77

    CNN poll is a crock–no one believes that Obama and co want input from Republicans, including the American people. Everyone knows it is the responsibility of the leader to include minority in negotiations–stop being so partisan, CNN–you will only drop your ratings even more.....

    February 24, 2010 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  4. Jim

    The Repubs have done NOTHING to signal that they want to work with the Dems or the President on anything. They attemted 112 filibusters in 2009. They have tried to block healthcare, unemployment insurance increases, energy bills, financial services reform. You name it, they tried to block it. The Dems need to get a backbone and start passing things. That is what the American people want, results.

    February 24, 2010 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  5. jp,michigan

    Since the democrats held the majority, they could careless what the republics brought to the table. Arrogance and elites within the democrats , has cause the problem on the Hill. Obama has the attitude my way or the highway. He and his co-conspirators do not want what the American people state they want. He has developed a socialistic Marxist group in his administration and on the Hill. He has as well as members on the Hill, that they work for us and not a political party or for the President agendas.

    February 24, 2010 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  6. Tony in Maine

    As with most polls, the results make no sense. 2/3rds think the Republicans are being obstructive, but a majority think the majority Democrats should give more in a "compromise" than the minority Republicans.

    I realize that polls are snapshots of a moment time, but presumablt respondents haven't done a 180 in the middle of the questioning.

    Perhaps it was a phone poll taken while people were distracted by the really important stuff – a pizza delivery, American Idol, Coultergeist flashing thigh or a NASCAR race.

    February 24, 2010 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  7. Lori in St Pete

    The first sentence states that the vast majority of Americans feel that the rethugs aren't doing enough to work with the president, but the second states that about half feel that the dems should take the "first step". Everytime the dems take a step toward bipartisanship, the rethugs take three steps back. There's only so many steps the dems can take before they fall right off the end of that "divided" bridge. It's time for them go grow a pair and do the right thing. If it costs them their seat, so be it. They go down as martyrs for doing the right thing.

    February 24, 2010 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  8. An American

    This shows exactly what's wrong with our government: a two party system where the two parties are extremely powerful. It would be nice to get a few more independents in there. I'm so sick of these two big political/corporate machines destroying this great country.

    February 24, 2010 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  9. Papasan in AZ

    Accept the reality that the Government ( GOP & DEM ) will never bail out Main Street USA or create Universal Health Care, once you do you will be partially depressed and mostly relieved. Here is the good part, we can start believing in ourselves, move forward with our lives, and tell Washington to drop dead, they need us more than we need them, and Washington is very scared about it too. There is a lot of power in relinquishing Washington's control over our lives and future.

    The Great Depression was the same way, Americans finally gave up on \" Help is on the way \" and created their own help called \" Self Reliance \". That's how Mom, Dad, Grand Pa and Grand Ma did it, and that's how we have to do it. Lets stop the whining and crying, get out there and make it happen, we are Americans, we can do anything!

    Good Bye, Good Luck, and don't forget to write!

    Papasan in AZ

    February 24, 2010 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  10. dora

    the democrats took universal healthcare off the table
    the democrats took the public option off the table
    the democrats allowed 162 republican admendments to the senate healthcare bill

    I wish the democrats would stop trying to make the republicans happy and start trying to help the middle class

    February 24, 2010 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  11. Duck Fallas

    Republicans hate America. That's why they fly planes into buildings.

    February 24, 2010 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  12. Darrell Burks

    Republicans are out of touch – the party of NO. Do nothing to move this country forward. I support the Democrats and think our President Obama is doing a wonderful and prudent job in leading our nation back to a peace and prosperity.

    February 24, 2010 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  13. Yas

    There needs to be some compromise on both sides....However, I must say I'm only seeing it from the Administration. No matter WHO is president it can not all be done by him or his adminstration no matter what party is in the majority.

    Unless...they force issues through like Bush did w/ the tax breaks and several other unsavory policy issues.

    February 24, 2010 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  14. GaDawginDC

    yea right. Thanks for the good laugh, that is why democrats are getting clobbered in liberal states. Mass, NJ ring a bell? the democrats are the ones trying to ram socialism down our throats. The Gop is only trying to hold them off until the election. Obama is giving us another Ronald Reagan in 2013 and I thank him for that.

    February 24, 2010 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  15. Tram

    I've been saying that for a year. The GOP are acting like spoiled children who don't want to share the sandbox and don't like the fact that the teacher scolded them on it.

    Our two party system doesn't work when one of the parties doesn't behave like the elected officials and adults they're supposed to be. The GOP need to be booted out and a new party needs to take their place. Preferably one with grownups.

    February 24, 2010 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  16. Gloria

    This is not a surprise and finally people are waking up to the fact that the Republicans are for themselves and big business. They have great healthcare so why worry about the American people. Did you notice they did not respond to Pres Obama when he spoke about bonus payouts on Wallstreet – why because they are for it. Do not let them fool you......they are NOT for the people.

    February 24, 2010 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  17. mark

    But, Obama is the least popular of them all!!!

    February 24, 2010 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  18. buckwheat

    No one believes any CNN poll.Just that simple.

    February 24, 2010 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  19. The lonely Libertarian of Liverpool NY

    Excuse me! What is the difference between these two parties? All I know is both have had a monopoly on my freedom for my entire lifetime (53 YRS), and year after year I work and struggle and get no where. Every year the taxes and fees to feed the massive Government go up and the value of the Dollar goes down.
    How can you folks continue to vote for these people who refuse to represent you? How can you vote for these two parties who have done nothing to your right for individual Liberty?
    You need to get off that “My party or the Highway” mentality.
    Libertarians are the closest thing to the centralist policies that this nation desperately needs right now.

    February 24, 2010 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  20. Gee....

    did the GOP lose in Virginia, New Jersey and Mass.?

    What don't I understand here???

    February 24, 2010 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  21. buckwheat

    I have never met a Republican that has been polled. I have met a lot of them that are about to be shafted by this Democrat dictatorship.

    February 24, 2010 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  22. Really??!

    Um, everything Obama has presented would be TOXIC to the USA. Why on EARTH would someone with half a head on their shoulders support ANYTHING he has presented so far??!!

    February 24, 2010 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  23. GeorgeVT

    Not sure exactly how this headline fits the artlcle... i read the .pdf – seems like it's equally bad news for both parties and the White House....

    February 24, 2010 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  24. BOBN

    Your title says, "GOP gets bad news in poll", but it should say Obama gets bad news in poll because him and his party aren't cooperating with the GOP. The bad news isn't for the GOP because the DEM can't pass there own bill with a majority in the house and senate.

    February 24, 2010 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  25. fielding mellish

    Woe is catching up to the "Party of No"...

    February 24, 2010 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
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