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. librarian

    The GOP is the party of NO. 290 bills stalled in the Senate because of them. Their hatred and anti-patriotism is unbelievable. All they want is Pres. Obama to fail and us as well.

    February 24, 2010 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  2. terry

    I have no trust in this administration. Politicians going back 20 yrs. or more have destroyed this country, and, of course, let the American people down. Most all are greedy.

    February 24, 2010 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  3. Jim

    Both parties are violating the Constitution. States will rebuild state's rights, and citizens will either vote out people that violate the Constitution or start separating the states from the Federal government to regain freedom and liberty.

    February 24, 2010 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  4. sonny chapman

    It's not easy to dance w/ someone who's said,"I want Obama to fail."–Limbaugh. And,"Health Care will be Obama's Waterloo". –Sen.Jim Dement R.,S. Carolina.

    February 24, 2010 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  5. Paul C.

    Republicans are so desperate for Obama to fail that they cannot bring themselves to vote on anything that could make Obama look good, even those things they support. Their plan is to make the government so unpopular that the voters will return them to power.
    The voters should remember the disaster of the last 8 years of Republican rule and don't fall for their scheme.

    February 24, 2010 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  6. james Miller

    Where was this "bipartisanship" under Bush II ???????? Has everyone forgot ?????

    February 24, 2010 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  7. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I would like to know what the Republicans are doing to reach across the aisle to meet the Democrats. What of their sacred cows are they willing to let go of to do better for the country? I don't think that they are doing enough.

    February 24, 2010 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  8. Joshua

    ...and yet CNN's headline says "Dems will bypass GOP on health care." How about a headline that says "Dems will complete health care reform in spite of GOP obstruction"?

    February 24, 2010 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  9. Eileen

    Obama is a fraud and a liar why should the GOP help him pass his radical liberal agenda that the people do not want. The problem with the GOP is that they caved into the liberals too much when they were in control. The Dems are not returning the favor. We don't want ACORN and Czars like Van Jones, we don't want Obama.

    February 24, 2010 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  10. H in Hermosa Beach

    Forget biparty crap, stop wasting time.reconciliate everything.

    February 24, 2010 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  11. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Republicans have no plan to work for the American people and no plan to work with President Obama. If Republicans aren't working there is no reason for them taking up space in Washington, if you did the same, your employer would fire you in a heartbeat. But this is just more proof of Republican arrogance without accountability.

    February 24, 2010 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  12. FM

    CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll is more reliable than the latter. The reason is: If one Party say it loudly and proudly their intentions of wanting the other Party to fail, how can it be possible to show co-operation!

    February 24, 2010 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  13. Monty B.

    To be fair, this story is a bit misleading. The BIG poll here states that an overwhelming majority of Americans don't think Republicans are cooperating with Obama's agenda. That doesn't mean they're in trouble-it just means they'e not cooperating with him.

    A number of responses in this poll indicate that the Democrats are the ones who need to buck up and give a little more ground when it comes to 'bipartisan solutions.'

    Don't get me wrong-I'm no republican sympathizer-I typically find myself slapping my forehead in response to what comes from the likes of Beck, Hannity, Limbaugh, etc. I just don't think that this story accurately represents what the poll actually says.

    February 24, 2010 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  14. Dave

    I am a conservative and disagree with this. The party in charge should NOT be the one to "give in more" to reach across the aisle.

    Really though, I don't think either side should ever have to give in on anything. Stand by your principles and fundamental ideological beliefs; do not bend over and compromise your values.

    People argue "then nothing will get done." That is okay. The less governmnet does the better for all of us.

    The problem is, most of them (on both sides) do not stand for much. They have a few things they really strive for and are probably even well intentioned, but on most issues, they are clueless and tow the party line without even knowing the real details.

    February 24, 2010 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  15. Big John

    There's no doubt in my mind that the republicans are doing everything they can to disrupt President Obama from achieving his goals no matter how good it is for the country. If it's a democratic idea or proposal they're against it. They have taken the words of their leader(Limbaugh) as their battle cry. "I hope he fails" It's obvious they're doing everything they can to help him fail. I think at least some of the Americans are beginning to see through their plan.

    February 24, 2010 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  16. Aunt Bea and Opie

    Americans now see who the enemy really is,and they are the rightwing extremists,bent on taking the U.S government down.

    February 24, 2010 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  17. eolufemi

    I don't know what more the President should do to reach across the aisle. He's being killed within his base for reaching across the aisle. Unfortunately, the independents aren't paying attention. But it is what it is. The President has given up a public option to get the Republicans on board, the republicans have yet to give up anything. Come on folks, start pressuring these people to start negotiating. It's in our collective best interest.

    February 24, 2010 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  18. TK

    If you keep putting your hand in the dogs mouth and he keeps bitting it, sooner or later you will stop doing it. The gop want Obama to fail because he is Black and they can't stand to have a black man running the greatest country in the world. I call it like it is!

    February 24, 2010 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  19. David in Dallas

    GOP = The Party of "No".

    And America is waking up to the fact. The GOP strategy is to win the next round of elections by pronouncing everything Obama touches as "bad" and then trying to play the hero by stopping it.

    It'll succeed with conservatives but the middle wants solutions, not hyper-partisanship.

    February 24, 2010 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  20. Carol

    Finally, Americans are beginning to pay attention. The Republicans are not concerned about the American people. All they care about is making President Obama fail. No, No, No and obstruct at any cost. And the cost is to us!
    I was worried for awhile, but finally it appears the American people are waking up to what they are doing.
    All they care about is the next election.

    February 24, 2010 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  21. Kevin in Ohio

    Give me a break.

    The democrats HAD a "filibuster-proof" majority and couldn't even get their own on the same wavelength.

    It is the duty of the minority party to stop insane legislation, and they are doing just that, thank God.

    February 24, 2010 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  22. Jin

    Perhaps the fallout from this recognition will show America the difference between Republicans and far-right, obstructionist Repugnicans.

    February 24, 2010 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  23. blf

    Ol' McConnell, SuperTan Boehner, Cantor, etc. reflexively say NO! before they've even heard any proposal from the Dems. We, you know, the people, are tired of the total lack of cooperation. Newtie got it started back in the 90s. It didn't work then, and it doesn't work now. Let's do the peoples' business, including reforming healthcare. Most people, contrary to Ol' McConnell's rants DO want healthcare to be available to all and affordable.

    February 24, 2010 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  24. waheid

    Both parties are to blame and the cause is the philosophy of "party before country." The Senate has become dysfunctional to the extent that it is in a state of perpetual gridlock. At least part of the problem are Senate rules, and especially the filibuster. Since the politicians in Washington are unwilling and/or unable to straighten out this mess, I am in favor of a Constitutional Amendment that will essentially change the Senate rules so that a simple majority is enough to pass nearly all legislation. After all, isn't that what democracy is all about? If we needed a "super majority" to elect a President, the White House would have been vacant for decades.

    February 24, 2010 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  25. David M. M.

    One party system = communism, tyranny, fascism. Yet that is what both political parties seem to be striving for: to be the only party. To do this they have to be strongly partisan. To do this they have to demonize the other side. To do this they have to paint the other side at traitors, non-patriots. No one is perfect, says at least one set of scriptures. Which is why our government was originally set up with checks and balances. Bipartisanship is necessary in a democratic republic. It is the patriotic thing to do. To govern, lead, a democratic republic means each party needs to cooperate in the process, to compromise, to give and take (all each side wants to do is take). Otherwise we end up with gridlock, with a broken government, and slipping in world power and influence. Is that patriotic?

    February 24, 2010 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
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