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. cheryl

    The Republicans have nobody to blame but theirselves. They went to Whashington madder than hell that President Obama won. They didn't care that this country was in a shambles(thanks to them and those old sour antiquated Democrates!), all they wanted to do was say no to anything that President had to say, just to prove a point. Well they have proven they would rather see this country fall down in ruins than to work together and make the hard choices. In all honesty, the choice to get this country back on track is not that hard. The problem is Corpporate America, which has sold this country right down the river. Start worrry about the average American, the ones that nobody on Capital Hill can identify with. They say the can, NO THEY CAN NOT!They need to live with the average American for one week, without their beloved conviences, an get a real dose of reality.

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

    It all comes down to this. In November voters will see two parties. One led by Pelosi, Reid, Obama, Barbara Boxer, Henry Waxman and Barney Frank. The other includes Scott Brown, etc.

    Case closed.

    February 24, 2010 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  3. Conservatism equals illiterate ignorance

    Did the Republicans really feel they could duck their complicity in causing the break down in the American Political System? How long can you go as the Party of No and feel the American public is gullible enough to not know you are the fault of the current issue. I feel the GOP is in for one major surprise in the off year elections and that is they are not all going to go in thier favor, in fact I think the American public has a major backlash headed in the GOP's direction and they are too arrogant to acknowledge it as yet.

    February 24, 2010 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  4. Ronnie

    GIVE UP MORE!! Democrats and Independents need to fight more!! No more of letting the Republicans, Conservatives or the Tea people push, bully, or intimedate us.


    February 24, 2010 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  5. usualone

    The new Republican from Massachusetts thought with his head, not his party. Republicans say "no" and where are any of their proposals? They could easily have them published in newspapers if they really had ideas. That way they would truly call the Democrats bluff - and then perhaps the two parties would work together. It surely looks like the President is reaching across the aisle. And at this point, how can one blame him if he never does it again. Why should the Democrats give more than the Republicans? It is obvious to most of us that if they did, the Republicans would want more and more. It isn't a game, it affects the American public. Enough of those political games as usual. We all need the two to work together.

    February 24, 2010 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  6. John

    I had such hope for our new president when he came into office..... but after over a year it is extremely clear that he will not be a successful president due to the congress he gets to work with......Obama is a huge let-down.... no question... but in my humble opinion.... Pelosi and Reid are first in line to recieve the "thanks-but-no-thanks" treatment.....

    you couldn't pay me to listen to a word they have to say anymore.....

    absolutely worthless congressional leadership we have right now....

    February 24, 2010 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  7. MBG

    Obama reached out to Republicans last year? When? That's the funniest line in the whole article.

    February 24, 2010 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  8. Al-NY,NY

    If the thugs in the GOP would stop with the "our way or the highway" and actually think before automatically brushing things aside, the POTUS might try to reach out more. BUT since they claim things are DOA unless they get their little goodies (only to show the sheep they are pandering) forget it.

    February 24, 2010 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  9. Grundoon

    Color me not at all suprised. My faith in humanity however is restored that the vast majority see right through the GOP. The GOP is like an alcoholic in a dysfunctional relationship. Everyone else has to do so much more to appease the alcoholic to keep peace in the house. The GOP has serious issues, man.

    February 24, 2010 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  10. Brad

    Well, this is good news. At least America is paying attention to what is going on. Sometimes I wonder.

    February 24, 2010 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  11. Joseph

    Don't imagine this surprises anybody. I got a letter from RNC Steele with a survey yesterday with absolutely stupid question about Obama. Of course the bottom line is that Steele asked for money to support his habit (lavish dinners, expensive trips etc.) I'm writing a note explaining to the morons that I have left the Rep. and NEVER ask me for another dime. Plus, they are going to pay for the postage.

    February 24, 2010 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  12. notfooledbydistractions

    The just say no approach isn't exactly winning strategy, the republicans will pay a price, not just the dems.

    February 24, 2010 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  13. Mark

    Yep, I blame the Republicans also. It obvious. The GOP are a obsolete, broken party.

    February 24, 2010 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  14. Laurie

    This is encouraging...it shows that America just might be paying attention. The Republicans have a very simple agenda – do not support anything that President Obama puts forth as positive change for this country. Deny him any victory possible. Sacrifice what is best for America...make sure he fails. They don't get it, if President Obama fails, we fail.

    February 24, 2010 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  15. Carmelle

    It's official:

    Republican party is the Party of No:

    to governing
    to America
    to progress

    They are willing to stop this country from running just because the POTUS is Black and because they love power more than the country.

    All the ones willing to vote Repubs again, can you tell me one different idea that they have offered that was not adopted in the 8 yrs of Bush? they have offered nothing new, and they offer the same: spend on wars, while give tax cuts to corps and say they want a balanced budget. Good luck with that repubs.

    February 24, 2010 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  16. Patriot

    The President and the Dems have already reached out to Repubs and have made many compromises in the Health care bill. Single payer was put aside immediately, and the public option is not even in the White House or Senate bill.

    In addition, the Dems have added many amendments to bills that Repubs wanted, only to have the Repubs then turn around and vote against those bills. So, I have to conclude that those polled are pretty uninformed.

    They are even incorrect in saying that the Repubs haven't "done enough" to work with the President. In reality, they haven't done anything at all except to obstruct and say they hope that the President fails. Wake up, people!

    February 24, 2010 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  17. The Opposite of Yes

    One of the first things that President Obama did on taking office was to make those first strides towards bipartisanship. His efforts have not exactly been met in kind. It takes two to tango. Blame here must fall overwhelmingly on the GOP, the "party of no."

    February 24, 2010 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  18. Al

    I guess it is the opinion of sixty seven percent of Obama's supporters.-were the polls conducted in Chicago alone?

    February 24, 2010 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  19. JMac

    When the GOP is the party of NO, what do they expect.

    February 24, 2010 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  20. Tom

    The republicans are not looking out for America, or concerned about the citizens. They are only interested in bringing down Obama at any cost.

    February 24, 2010 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  21. gt

    the democrats blame every body and they control everything,,,ugh,,,get real,,, if we had term limits maybe just maybe this stuff would go away and this country could get things done for the people and not life long rep and senators who should of retired yrs ago...

    February 24, 2010 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  22. marty

    You have to be brain dead not to see that the Republicans are more interested in power and trying to make this administration fail....by whatever means necessary... than to get our Country back on its feet with good health, jobs and all other concerns. First Boehner and company were screaming about the lack of transparency and C-Span coverage, now that the cameras are in play for tomorrow night, they're screaming Trojan horse...big room, little room, etc. etc. Sometimes I think that the Repubs were the original 'Child Left Behinders' when you listen to some of their excuses/spins.

    February 24, 2010 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  23. Nurse

    SO the repubs should do more to help 1) Increase debt 2) Increase TAXS 3) Take over health care and with it 1/6 of the econnomy . 4) destroy the economy with no growth plans like cap and trade......etc. etc. etc. Me thinks your poll is a bit skewed.

    February 24, 2010 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  24. AT

    I would love to know who in the world you are polling! Anyone with any sense would see that President Obama has tried over and beyond to reach out to Republicans. They have disrespected him on numerous occasions and they meet privately to see how they can best fight him. It is sad and embarrassing. My students in my Social Studies class document every stimulus victory. Republican leaders have voted against a jobs bill, that is a travesty. They appear at ribbon cutting ceremonies celebrating victories made possible from stimilus funding. I am appalled at this post. My students think it is a joke.

    February 24, 2010 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  25. Communist News Network

    Why is the link's name "Bad news for GOP" when clearly more blame is placed on the Democratic Party?

    February 24, 2010 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
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