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. Gayle

    The Democrats have reached and reached and reached. Repubs have interpreted this as a sign of weakness. President Obama, it's time to get the job done!

    February 24, 2010 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  2. deb0155

    How can the GOP go along with a bill that 70% of the country does not want! Our great-great grandchildren will end up paying for this bill. It is not something that the American people want. It's socialism at best!

    February 24, 2010 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  3. If I was crazy, I'd be a conservative too

    If it wasn't so tragic, It would almost amusing, watching the flip flopping by McCain, McConnell, Boehner, Cantor and most congressional republicans on health care and the jobs bill. They used to say that the first sign of insanity is talking to yourself, but to argue with yourself, and then lose the argument, puts you a well down that road.

    February 24, 2010 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  4. Luther Newsome

    The problem I have with your polls in general is that just over a thousand americans are polled in these surveys and it does not represent the many millions in this country.So what I'd like to know is how can any of this polls actually be valid.

    February 24, 2010 08:44 am at 8:44 am |

    I believe the Democrats have bent over backwards to get Republican Support, But they continue to be the party of NO,
    SoI think the Democratic MAJORITY should go on (for the good of the People) and just them behind -as they have been for years.
    When it come to the welfare of the Public.

    February 24, 2010 08:45 am at 8:45 am |

    and just leave them behind.

    February 24, 2010 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  7. scott Snider

    I don't know what liberal group cnn took the poll with, but for me and those I know the only thing the republicans are not doing enough of is saying NO enough to the president. Obama is wrong on everything so far and should be stopped at all cost.

    February 24, 2010 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  8. RTB

    It seems to me that the democrats have bent over backwards to work with the Republicans.

    The Republicans in turn have played every trick, blocked any movement, distorted the facts and pursued a childish agenda.

    I don't think the Democrats should give any more to the GOP. The ball is in the electorate's court to vote in more Democrats and rid the system of the sour grape Republicans.

    February 24, 2010 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  9. T'SAH from Virginia

    "...47 percent saying he is doing enough to reach across the political aisle..."

    47 percent is a BIG number considering Congress had a WHOLE YEAR to get health care passed with the Party of NO saying NO all of the time. The RepubliCAN'TS had a WHOLE YEAR to be part of the Health Care Bill but REFUSED to do so.

    This is all going to BACKFIRE beginning this year – 2010 – when the RepubliCAN'Ts THINK they are going to win big in the elections!!!

    February 24, 2010 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  10. Jack

    While it is my opinion that the Republican party really pioneered the extreme, and extremely nasty partisanship that has dominated congress since the mid 90's, in this case it really doesn't matter.

    Obama appears to be advised by the single greatest bunch of incompetents in the history of the universe. His administration is a complete failure, and his party's utter mishandling of the greatest Senate majority in a generation speaks to the complete failure of the Democrats in general.

    Republicans, however nasty, brutish, bullying, and anti-american they may be, are absolutely going to regain control of the Senate in 2010. In my view, America's only real hope is for third, fourth, and possibly fifth parties to emerge and become viable. Good luck with that.

    February 24, 2010 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  11. jake747

    I don't get it. Obama picks a Republican Defense Secretary, a Republican Treasury Secretary (straight from Bush's Council of Economic Advisors), nominated a 3rd Republican to his cabinet (Transportation, which the nominee denied), sticks to Bush's plan on Iraq, increases troop strength in Afghanistan...and despite all the hype on health care, Obama supported a health reform plan that didn't go nearly as far as Clinton's attempt in '93 (remember the card everyone was going to get under his plan? heck, Obama didn't even say a public option was needed).

    Obama's the most centrist Democrat since Truman (if you listen to facts instead of rhetoric). How much more is he supposed to do to reach out to Republicans?? Did they think he was going to switch parties after being elected?

    February 24, 2010 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  12. Reny

    The party of "no" will become the party of "yes" once they are back in power:

    YES to helping the rich!

    YES to hurting the poor!

    February 24, 2010 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  13. Seth

    Most American Patriots are grateful to the party of NO.

    We proudly have said NO to the 'no good very bad' agenda of this

    The Blue Dogs held the line too, and we all know how much we owe to
    Senator Lieberman for stopping the PRIVATE OPTION FIASCO.

    This administration is reaching too far... WE ARE PROUD TO BE TYING THEIR HANDS, someone has got to stop the madness.

    February 24, 2010 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  14. tarheel

    The Democrats have used their Super-Majority in the House and Senate to enact a Liberal wish lish they have wanted for years and I don't blame them. But, you can't expect the Republican Party to go along with them. If they do, then why do we have a Two-Party system?

    February 24, 2010 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  15. buckwheat

    Republicans should quit working, vote Democrat ,sit on their rear ends, get on welfare, food stamps and public housing and enjoy the ride down hill as this country slides down hill. Equality is all we have heard for 50 years and what every American deserves. If the new health care bill is passed we can treat our bodies like a garbage can and we will be taken care of from the cradle to the grave if we can live long enough to see a doctor. Shangri La does not exist. You have to have someone to take taxes from before this can happen. We don't smell any smoke anymore but we don't have jobs either to pay all of these gifts from the government.

    February 24, 2010 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  16. teacher

    By Republicans taking an uncooperative attitude regarding anything that Democrats propose and then not producing any worthwhile legislation themselves, why are Republicans being paid. If the rest of us Americans refused to do what we were "hired" to do, we would not be paid, lose all our benefits, includingt unemployment, and be fired. Why should Congress be any different. Oh- I forgot- they make the rules. This is a great time for term limits, but put before the general election, not Congress. Also include pension reform.

    February 24, 2010 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  17. David

    Wow, a CNN poll that comes out in favor of the Democrats. What a shock. How about talking about all the polls that show the vast majority of Americans do not want this health care bill to pass, or the pollls that show support for Obama is down tremendously? I guess those polls don't matter

    February 24, 2010 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  18. aproudmemberoftheunpatrioticmob

    Thank God, the Republicans are blocking this idiots spending agenda. Hard working, sober, tax paying Americans appreciate the Republican efforts in helping us keep our jobs and stopping the crooked liberals from stealing more of our money to give to the corrupt unions and the dope smoking, non working, non taxpaying Oprah watchers.

    February 24, 2010 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  19. Surprised? No.

    67% say they are ticked at the Republicanknuckleheads. That has to include some of their own party members. They could care less how they appear to America. ALL of America.
    The doomed party. Wake up, in four more years there will be even more young voters who are black, hispanic, MIXED RACE and gay. While the rest of us understand tolerance and equal rights, you guys still will not.

    So....tell me they are not doomed as it stands now. The hate just spews out of these people, it pours out in some. Like we want that kind people running things?

    February 24, 2010 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  20. larry wi

    How can the Republicans be comprimising when what is before them on the table sucks, and they don't agree with the proposal. There is simply more to this than one side not wanting to work with the other! It's a shame that the democratic proposals are so far off base that the republicans have no choice but to disagree, would you rather the repubs did not act as the watch dog here?

    February 24, 2010 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  21. ran

    The fear/hate/obstructionist/purity Republicans could care less what any poll says. They only care about how they can regain power regardless of what the people want.

    The only thing we as a nation can do is vote the fear/hate/obstructionist/purity Republicans out in 2010/2012 and we might as well vote out the Blue Dogs as well. Unfortunately we will have to wait until 2014 to vote out Lieberman but if we get 60 true Democrats by 2010 he will not matter any more.

    If we want real change then we must vote in true Democrats or Independents and not reward a single Republican with a win.

    February 24, 2010 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  22. hampster

    The republicans are definitely the problem in Washington. Guess maybe the eight years of Bush/Cheney went to their heads. Seems they are very sore losers and just want to disrupt the present administration rather than do anything for America. Mitch is the epitome of sour grapes. So many republicans just display this attitude of whatever lets just screw the Obama administration. The only thing one can hope is that someday when the Republicans hold sway in congress and the White House the democrates will remember to be twice as difficult to the republicans; like fillibuster every proposal and bring down every republican proposal twice as hard.

    February 24, 2010 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  23. Naomi

    Is "reaching out" done by creating policy behind locked doors, excluding the Republicans, as well as the PROMISED "transparency"??

    February 24, 2010 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  24. If I was crazy, I'd be a conservative too

    I am sure Rasmussen/Fox can find a positive poll about the worthless crap GOP that was elected to senate. I found out that they have held up over 290 bills that the house passed. ( a substantial number were bipartisan)

    February 24, 2010 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  25. Jerry

    Maybe we will be lucky and find another 30 Scott Brown's. He votes on the merits and showed he didn't give a crap if the GOP was against it!
    I take my hat off to him.

    February 24, 2010 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
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