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. Johnny DC

    Where exactly has his "reach across the aisle" been? Show ANY shred of evidence of that.

    He campaigned on center left. He's pushed for EXTREME left. And now he wants to settle on "near-EXTREME" left as some kind of compromise with the GOP?


    February 24, 2010 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  2. lochlan

    I used to be republican, until I got educated about the party and politics. Boy was that an eye opener.

    February 24, 2010 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  3. Liz

    This is very heartening news. i was afraid that way more people were buying the rethuglicans' snow job. Let's hope these lizard brains pay a huge price in November for putting party politics above the well-being of the country and its people.

    February 24, 2010 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  4. Hampton

    Well there is a big suprise, the liberal left media blames the GOP. Do you have any more late breaking news.

    February 24, 2010 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  5. Jean-Texas

    I am amazed that any republican would actually admit the GOP is not reaching accross the isle. The GOP never intended to work with this president once they received the oredrs from the head of the party (Rush Limbaugh) and that crazy Glen Beck. By the way, here in Texas Glen Beck is getting hammered by some of the concervitive radio talking heads for his attack on Medina. They are actually shocked that Beck has lied and twisted the truth about what Medina said regarding 911 Truthers. Amazing how they howel when the lies are turned on them. Glen Beck has been lying and screeching and twisting the truth about the President for over a year. Welcom to the world of Becks reality.

    February 24, 2010 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  6. paksa

    The topic for this article is very contrary to the leading statement as well of the content of the cited opinion polls. This seems to be just another blatant bias attempt to present news to favor the Obama administration when the polls are not indicating such. Please do better at being more objective in misleading titles given to articles or at least do a better job of hiding the political bias.

    February 24, 2010 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  7. al in memphis

    The first question in the poll should be whether you know something about the respective positions of the party. Second question is do you know anything about who and how many groups will benefit from their positions.
    After that, you should be allow to give your opinion on who is not cooperating with who.
    What do both political parties fear the most– a well informed, unbiased, voter.

    February 24, 2010 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  8. Bubba

    I'll never trust the GOP after the WMD thing. They probably let Osama go on purpose. Vote 'em all out.

    February 24, 2010 09:01 am at 9:01 am |

    This is not news. The majority of Americans know congress is broken, this is just one more symptom of that. Sure there is partisanship, but it is government policy, lead by Democrats, that has voters furious.

    Look at another symptom. Health care reform, the majority of Americans do not want the Democrat version of health care reform, yet Harry Reid wants to use parliamentary stunts to ram it down voters throats!

    How do you spell VOTE THEM ALL OUT. It is not the GOP that is in trouble, it is both parties from President Obama on down.

    February 24, 2010 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  10. WeThePeopleofVirginia

    We have the greatest political system in the world and the worst people running it . . . TERM LIMITS.

    February 24, 2010 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  11. B E in TN

    we needed a poll to know who is destroying this country??????

    February 24, 2010 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  12. Peter

    Washington is broken. Certainly the Republicans have resurrected Nancy Reagan's mantra of "just say no" when it comes to working with Obama. However, both Republican and Democratic members of Congress are so deep in the pockets of PACs and lobbyists that they have forgotten about their constituents. The system is broken, folks, and blaming one side or the other isn't going to fix anything. To quote the great Abraham Lincoln, until we have "a government of the people, by the people, and for the people," we'll face countless quagmires, bloated rhetoric, and a ruination of our democracy. Period. Exclamation point.

    February 24, 2010 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  13. Mark from Conn

    People who think the Democrats should give up more to achieve bipartisan consensus haven't been paying attention. Progressives have given ground and given ground and dear God, given ever more ground in the name of compromise with conservatives. The conservatives have given NOTHING. Not. One. Inch.

    Republicans have gotten away for too long with pushing a definition of bipartisanship that means the GOP gets whatever they want and the Democrats get nothing. Elections have consequences. Chief among those consequences is the minority has to compromise.

    It is time and past time for Democratic leadership in Congress to slam the Republicans' backs to the wall and get the people's business done.

    February 24, 2010 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  14. Robert Smith

    In the latest effort at healthcare reform the republicans were shouting "No" before they even had a chance to read or discuss it.

    February 24, 2010 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  15. Tony

    If the Dems would grow a backbone and get things done with or without GOP support things would finally get done. We can nitpick about whether the things that get done are the right things during the next election but in the meantime let's get something done. SOMETHING.

    February 24, 2010 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  16. Robert

    That is just crazy. Obama has bent over backwards to cooperate with them. In the healthcare bill alone, he has incorporated far more of their ideas than a minority party should have gotten.

    The propose a commission, he agrees to it.... they then turn against it. On several major issues they themselves proposed, the moment he gets on board with them, they all change positions.

    Nobody can realistically say Obama hasn't tried.

    February 24, 2010 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  17. SueBlow

    Finally – a true consensus of what's really going on with the GOP! They have shown an unamerican and divisive spirit, and seem to think that what's more important to the citizens of this Country is to defeat President Obama on EVERY issue. This is just wrong and unamerican. It is good to hear that most americans don't share that view. So to all those haters I have encountered on different message sites, your voices and opinions are not of the majority. Thank God!!

    February 24, 2010 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  18. independent Jim

    The independents are fighting mad – if you cross us, you'll pay the price in November. The more incumbents gone, the better!

    February 24, 2010 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  19. Mike

    I fail to see how the title/link to this article from the homepage is accurate according what is actually stated within it. "GOP gets bad news in poll". Seems like fairly good news for the GOP if you read the whole article. Tricky media.

    February 24, 2010 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  20. Rick McDaniel

    No one, is really doing their job. If it was private industry, they would all be fired for non-performance.

    February 24, 2010 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  21. Sniffit

    the democRATS, liberials, unions, lawyers, special interest, lobbiest all control congress and Owebama........how is blaming anyone, let alone the republicans going to fix anything?

    blue dog dems anyone? anyone?

    this country has got exactly what it voted for so the joke is on us

    OweBama and all that money snowed us all over

    7 more years america..be ready.........be scared and prepared

    cling to your guns and religion its the only thing that will save you

    February 24, 2010 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  22. u2canfail

    I think this, "we are against everything mentality" is so bad for America. Our best only comes out with compromise. Why on earth is this forgotten? America is made up of people with many different opinions and interests. Without compromise, we are simply has beens. Our system, the entire system is built on a premise, we work together in the interest of the people. We work only for our view, is unAmerican.

    February 24, 2010 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  23. JDH in OKC

    ....still the party of no! No answers, no cooperation, no new ideas, and never admitting they were the root cause of the problems we face. We need to give the boot to every incumbent serving today, Republican and Democrat! If only we can find qualified persons to serve......

    February 24, 2010 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  24. MsDp

    America listen up. The Dems have taken the first step, the second step, the third step and this party continues to step, step, step,....towards the GOP. And what do the DEMs get? The same old crap from the GOP. While I'm proud of the Dem's and their sincere desire to cooperate with the GOP; however, with that said, the GOP decided in the very beginning they would never cooperate with the DEMs and it started with the GOP minority/majority whip in the house and the senate and senator jim demint has been heard and quoted making statements to the effect do not cooperate, etc. So let's place the blame where it is truly deserved – 100% GOP BLAME!!!!

    February 24, 2010 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  25. NS

    Nice headline, here goes CNN trying hide the fact 16% more think the President isn't working with the Republicans vs. 6% more who think it is the Republicans stalling things. PLEASE TELL THE TRUTH FOR ONCE!

    February 24, 2010 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
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