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. John

    This is why CNN will never be viewed as nonpartisan, but GOP leaning, with polls like this that make absolutely no sense, unless CNN admits this poll was conducted in a kindergarten in Romania.

    February 24, 2010 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  2. joy

    I'm sick of this stalemate in Washington, but for the life of me I can't figure out how the party that won the election is supposed to "reach out" and capitulate to the party that lost even though the party that lost is being ridiculously childish in their stand that it's "my way or the highway". Republicans need to be told that they have a responsibility to help govern, whether or not they are in the majority. I am a democrat in a republican state; I feel I have no representation at all because I am not of their party. It is time for the elected officials to govern on what's good for the American people - not what's good to keep in their petty power they crave above all else.

    February 24, 2010 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  3. Malcolm

    I guess the country isn't that dumb after all.

    February 24, 2010 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  4. Robert

    This extreme partisanship will likely continue until both Republicans and Democrats are able to vote in the other party's primaries. This would support the advancement of centrists/compromise candidates. Otherwise, we will continue to see extremists on the November ballots.

    February 24, 2010 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  5. RF-NJ

    Republicans object to everything but have no plan of their own to fix the problems this country faces. Partisan business as usual for the GOP.

    February 24, 2010 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  6. Dubya

    NO NO NO....cooperation is anit-Republican...It is all about ME!

    February 24, 2010 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  7. Four and The Door

    I applaud the Republicans for holding their ground. The poor performance of the Democratic programs that have been implemented, from the automotive and Wall Street bailouts to housing, the Stimulus Bill, on and on and on, demand that someone hold them accountable and stop the abuse of the blank check America gave them in November. There are serious issues with their ability to manage the Federal government. From the top to the bottom they have been locking out Republican input. Starting with Massachusetts, Americans are telling them with our votes that this is unacceptable behavior and we will not stand for it!

    February 24, 2010 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  8. Mike

    When Bush was president the republicans were not interested in working with the demorcats. They had total control, did what THEY wanted and could care less about what the people were saying. Now, they still don't want to work with democrats, will do only what THEY want and complain that democrtats are not listening to the people. I don't put my faith in either party. I trust God and the American people. This is an example of why. It's all about power and control and they want nothing to do with helping the average family.

    February 24, 2010 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  9. mjm

    Sorry, but conservative Republicans can't sign on to stupid bills. Write better bills and you'll get some support. Until then, cry all you want.

    February 24, 2010 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  10. gop...

    I hope both sides come together an find a solution to help America..But the way I see it the GOP will follow Rush L. "The I hope he fails" If our President fails we fail as a Country..... The Republicans think only of themselves an to get reelected...

    February 24, 2010 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  11. Rickster

    Maybe if our wanna-be-dictator president came up with one good idea then maybe the republicans would not have to say "no". So far, the correct response to all of Obama's policies is "no".

    Two years and 11 months until we run Obama out of office and start repairing the damage.

    February 24, 2010 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  12. Matt Williams

    CNN possible polled only die-hard democRATS and. CNN is not believable. Majority would believe this if FOX news did the poll but not CNN

    February 24, 2010 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  13. terry,va.

    It is the Repubs job to fight Obummie tooth and nail to prevent him from turning America into a socialist state. Thank God they are standing up to him.

    February 24, 2010 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  14. Chris - Denver

    Good. They deserve it after following their cynical scorched-earth policy for the past year.

    February 24, 2010 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  15. Butch/Good Newz, VA

    This just in:

    Dems have control of the White House and overwhelming majorities in both Houses of Congress. They don't need RINO support to pass anything, but still can't push through their socialist agenda. It isn't very difficult to understand that – maybe it is for liberals. Truth is, enough Dem Congressmen know that they are toast come election time if they vote for crap going through the intestines of Congress right now.

    February 24, 2010 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  16. Jeff

    What a totally ridiculous piece of propaganda..This reads like the talking points from a Gibbs "press conference" Is Steinhauser on the White House pay-roll or what ??

    February 24, 2010 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  17. Greg

    This poll is pointless... I don't think the Republicans are cooperating with Barack Obama either. But who's to say that I want them to cooperate with his leftist agenda? If the Democrats in congress are unwilling to accept any conservative ideas then maybe gridlock is the best thing for now. Let's hope that we can start over again in November.

    February 24, 2010 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  18. drahcir61

    No doubt that both sides are at fault, especially the far Right & the far Left who appear unwilling to work together. However, it's pretty clear that the Republican strategy from Day 1 has been to roadblock anything Obama supports.

    The GOP feels if they can help a Democrat President fail, then they will win back Congress & the WH (your loss = my gain). Unfortunately that selfish strategy only causes more pain on Main Street.

    Lastly, the nutcases like Rush Limbaugh & Glen Beck only add fuel to the flame. Every comment they make is filled with polarizing hatred.

    February 24, 2010 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  19. Marilyn

    Thank God the Republicans are not doing Obama's bidding! He is trying to take us down the wrong path, and the correct thing to do is just say NO. And they should keep saying it until he gets the message. If Obama gets his way this country will be heading straight to economic insolvency!

    February 24, 2010 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  20. Rob Selby

    Is it any wonder? Afterall, the Party of No doesn't care about anyone or anything except their facist, corporate-loving agenda.

    February 24, 2010 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  21. Minnesota gal

    So do they want Obama to let Boehner come into the white house and take over. I remember when the republicans were in power and the democrats were only allowed to vote yes on all their bills, their legislations and stuff. Even that butt from Wisconsin went into a Democratic meeting and pulled the plug on their mike, shut off the lights and told the Sgt of Arms to throw them out. So where was the public outrage about that. I mean WERE THE REPUBLICANS SHOWING ANY KIND OF BIPARTIANSHIP during Bush's reign. Heck no.

    February 24, 2010 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  22. Publico

    So the American public is not as stupid as the GOP thinks they are. Stop thinking about your imagined victories at the polls in November and start doing your jobs as members of Congress who are supposed to represent their district or state, not their party or ideology. That's you Demint and company.

    February 24, 2010 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  23. Terry - Indiana

    If any member of the house or senate was running a business, and this sort of crap was happening, the Board of Directors would be looking to fire the CEO. My goodness folks, just make a decision. If you are having trouble making a decision, flip a coin. You have a 50/50 chance of being correct. I am crying out for "TERM LIMITS" that would send all of you home. No offense, the average high school student could do a better job, and the student would flip out over the millions of dollars passes your way by lobbyists and special interest groups. Maybe we need younger people in Washington!

    February 24, 2010 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  24. Carl Feher

    Democrats act like they have been trying to get a date with a girl who's never, ever going to go out them even if they were the last guy on the planet. Give it up and just get the work done without them. The republicans aren't even pretty anyway.

    February 24, 2010 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  25. Goodman Fredrick

    I am sick and tired of these polls! Can't the news media go for at least a month without them?

    February 24, 2010 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
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