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. th

    The president has said all along if you have a plan bring it to the table. The Repubs only plan is to shoot down anything that the Democrats bring forward no matter what.

    February 24, 2010 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  2. Gilliard

    You mean absolutely NOTHING to cooperate?

    February 24, 2010 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  3. CR

    I broke with the GOP in 2008. It no longer has anything constructive to offer. All the Republican Party cares about is returning to political power. Fear, hate, and hypocrisy are a big turn-off to reasonable people.

    February 24, 2010 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  4. John D

    As a Republican, I believe it is time for John McCain to go away. His progressive thinking is not what Republicans want. We are going to send this country back to following the Constitution as well as the Bill of Rights and hold all politicians responsible for their actions. They need to be held to a higher standard due to the positions they will be in.

    February 24, 2010 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  5. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Two-thirds of Americans think that the Republicans in Congress are not doing enough to cooperate with President Barack Obama

    Polls are nice.

    It is gratifying to see that rational Americans are seeing through the GOP fodder, and NOT buying it. The GOP's repeated and ridiculous claim to know what real Americans need while they sit on their hands and watch real Americans continue to struggle is enraging.

    It is good to see our intelligent President force their hand, and push their nefarious, and selfish intentions out into the light of day for real Americans to judge for themselves who's busting their chops to help them and who are just out to help themselves.

    February 24, 2010 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  6. JDQ

    Why should the Dems give up anything? We who voted them into office did so on the premise that they would accomplish what needs to be done – the GOP is operating on the total block idea that to obstruct absolutely everything the other party wants to do is to advance their own ideas, and we saw how well that all worked in the last administration. It's time for the Dems to take off the gloves and forge ahead with saving the country from the right wing ideas that all taxes are ridiculous, as Glen Beck says, at the same time he wants us to use public libraries – which are tax supported...a prime example of the wing nut thinking.

    February 24, 2010 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  7. jane

    When are the Obama administration and the Democratic majority in Congress going to understand that they were elected by a majority because Americans want problems solved?? If partisanship is not there, then move on without it!! We need substantive health care reform yesterday. (And please, not something so limp as the credit card "reform.")

    February 24, 2010 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  8. nick

    The GOPers are obstructionist! All they care about is winning power so they can finish the destruction of the American ecopnomy polarize the nation into warring camps, and enrich the already obscene wealthy all of which began under 8-years of Bush/Cheney.

    February 24, 2010 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  9. liberal wing nut

    Considering the gop had no say whatsoever it doesn't surprise me that morons think they are the reason for the grid lock.

    February 24, 2010 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  10. John

    How about what Americans think about Obama? Only 40 percent still think he is doing what is right. And, only 10% think Congress is doing what is right.
    So, most Americans don't like what Democrats are doing, except for CNN.

    February 24, 2010 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  11. Ancient Texan

    This poll was obviously taken inside the Democratic Party Headquarters. Everyone I hear express an opinion says the arrogance of the Democrats is unbelievable and the Republicans are correct in standing up for America and against the Democrats. I guess we'll see in a few months. The November Elections are the only true fair polls.

    February 24, 2010 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  12. Anonymous

    The Dems haven't done anything to encourage working across the isles! They've just gone with "we have all the votes we need, eat this!". Well, it's backfired and now NOTHING is getting accomplished. Very true the GOP has not gone out of their way to help, but again, their input wasn't really wanted with the Left pushing their personal agenda.

    February 24, 2010 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  13. Oba - Mao

    Who would trust a poll from a network that was and still is openly in the bag for Obama? CNN is hardly trustworthy.

    February 24, 2010 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  14. az voter

    I haven't read this junk in months, and I have been much happier without all the hiss and spit.

    I see nothing has changed in these pages ... SOSDD.

    Well bye for another few months ... back to the real world.

    February 24, 2010 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  15. Mike

    No surprise. Gloria Borger, do you see this?

    February 24, 2010 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  16. capnmike

    Republicans care more about their party, and their own selfish interests and those of their corporate and religion-huckster buddies, than they do about their country or its future. They are lying, cheating, grafting, doing anything they can to make the President look bad with no thought to the general welfare of the American public.

    February 24, 2010 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  17. john

    Oh, so it is "partisanship" to oppose, as most Americans do, the Obama-Pelosi-Reid plan for a massive, costly federal takeover of health care?

    February 24, 2010 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  18. stillnot working

    being this is a cnn poll, you can not believe a word of it. there is not middle ground concerning the news. cnn, msnbc, networks(all) vs fox and drudge. THERE IS NO NEWS ANYMORE, ONLY OPINION. i do not watch news broadcast anymore, only internet. while watching and searching for Vancouver news, saw a little of oberman and madlow on msnbc. they are unbelievable. the worst and most slanted news i have ever seen. i will slam my hand in a car door before i ever watch another second of either. nbc should be ashamed for allowing this two on the air

    February 24, 2010 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  19. Oba - Mao

    I think the GOP is right in not co-operating with Obama. He is a far left radical. They should do everything they can to stop his agenda. Besides the GOP has nothing to gain politically by supporting Obama. His approval has dropped 20 points from a year ago and those that strongly disapprove is up nearly 30 points.

    February 24, 2010 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  20. smokey

    Pres Obama and the Dems have reached out to much to the GOP, with no response..Now it is time to move on and get thinsg done..I was shocked when I found out the there 290 bills just sitting in the senate waiting for a vote, and if the GOP had its way , that is where they will stay...Its time to move and forget about them ! enough is enough and they have stalled Amercia for to long..Go Dems and Pres Obama and use whatever means necessary to get the peoples bussiness done !!!! And that means the dreaded now infamous Tarantino !!!!

    February 24, 2010 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  21. Former Texas Republican

    After watching Cantor being interviewed this morning about Thursday's upcoming conference on health care, every answer to a question had the party line phrase..."this is not what the American people want." I've noticed all the GOP members work this statement into their comments, but it's patently not true. Why can't the "talking heads" of the news media call them out on this as they are interviewing them.

    February 24, 2010 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  22. kmp

    I am sorry but I do not think the Dems should have to give up any more to please the Republicans. I agree that they shouldn't just force things through but they have caved to more than they should have and I think that is one reason the Rebublicans keep pushing for more, yet have done nothing to counter what they are denying.

    February 24, 2010 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  23. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    So it's clear to say that America blames Republicans for the gridlock in Washington. I didn't need a poll to figure that out. Tomorrow's healthcare summit is going to be the Republicans doomsday.

    February 24, 2010 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  24. Butch

    GOOD Government is due to GOOD Administrative Leadership. Broken government results when that is missing. We just don't seem to have the
    leadership ... or just as importantly, the ideas the people want in this freedom-loving country. Basically.... we don't want socialism! Good for all those who are standing up and resisting it!

    February 24, 2010 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  25. Nick San Diego

    The Republican Party will pay a heavier price than they think for their stiff opposition to EVERYTHING.
    They may take some comfort in the loud and boisterous Tea Party people, but they are nothing more than a sliver of voters, who if followed by the party elders will surly do them more harm than good

    February 24, 2010 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
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