November 10th, 2010
10:49 AM ET
12 years ago

Democrats and Republicans disagree over compromise

Washington (CNN) - As a battle looms between Democrats and Republicans in the lameduck Congress over extending Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, a new survey suggests that two parties don't see eye to eye over the art of compromise.

According to a new Gallup poll, 59 percent of Democrats say it is generally more important for political leaders to compromise to get things, with 18 percent saying it is more important to stick to your beliefs. But 41 percent of Republicans questioned in the survey say it is more important for lawmakers to stick to their beliefs even if little gets done, with 32 percent saying compromise is more important.

The poll indicates that by a 49 to 24 percent margin, independent voters say it is more important for politicians to compromise to get things done rather than sticking to their core beliefs. Those numbers are close the 47 to 27 percent margin in favor of compromise for all Americans questioned in the survey.

The GOP made major gains in Congress in last week's midterm elections, mainly by opposing over the past two years the agenda of President Barack Obama and Democratic congressional leaders.

"Because this was the first time Gallup has asked the question about compromise versus holding firm in one's beliefs, it is not clear whether the partisan differences in the poll are typical or whether they reflect Republicans' and Democrats' responses to the current political situation," says Jeffrey Jones of Gallup.

The poll indicates that the public is much more likely to say that Obama will make a sincere effort to work with Republicans on Capitol Hill (64 percent) than they are to believe that congressional Republicans will make an effort to work with the White House and the Democrats in Congress (43 percent). Gallup points out that the difference could stem from the tendency by Americans to rate the president more positively than Congress.

The Gallup poll was conducted November 4-7, with 1,021 adult in American questioned by telephone. The survey sampling error is plus or minus four percentage points.

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Filed under: 2010 • President Obama
soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. Bertina

    Keep that attitude Republicans and see how long your representatives last.

    November 10, 2010 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  2. Four and The Door

    The GOP made major gains in Congress in last week's midterm elections, mainly by opposing over the past two years the agenda of President Barack Obama and Democratic congressional leaders.
    Actually, the way it worked was that nothing the Democratic administration and congress did was working so the American people did not vote for them again. That's what happens when you make big promises in order to spend big money ( just when we don't have big money ) and then the promises are not even close to being met.

    November 10, 2010 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  3. Dale

    So, basically Republicans don't compromise. What a surprise.

    November 10, 2010 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  4. Rob

    The Democrats STILL have a MAJORITY in both houses until Jan 2011. They should "man up" and extend the tax cuts only for the middle class and let them expire for the top 2%. They have enough of a majority to do it. And if the Republicans in the Senate want to filibuster, it will be on THEIR HANDS if taxes go up next year.

    If they do this, then the Republicans will have to decide whether they want to pass a separate bill to give tax cuts SOLELY to millionaires. How well do you think that would sit with the public?

    If Obama has learned anything from the past 2 years it should be that Republicans have no interest in compromise and therefore he should direct the Dems in Congress to go all out and pass an extension for the middle class while they still have the clout to do so.

    Let Boehner and Cantor attempt a government shutdown next year. It worked wonders for the Republicans in 1994-1995. Let them vote against raising the debt ceiling and take the economy hostage – only gonna put more votes in Obama's column come 2012.

    November 10, 2010 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  5. RKP

    It is helpful to remember that Bush barely squeaked by in 2000 then proceeded to initiate legislation like he won in a landslide. It is important to remember that Obama really won in a landslide and the GOP proceeded to try to roadblock all legislation. Do we really expect these two parties to work together right now? For one thing it is virtually certain the TEA Party is not going to view tax cuts for the wealthy as a government spending program for which it truly is. Gridlock is around the corner.

    November 10, 2010 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  6. DC Johnny

    Wow, what an incredibly stupid poll. Whether or not to "compromise" is highly based on the issue being compromised on. Compromising for the sake of compromise is lunacy.

    This reminds me of all the "Party of NO" comments. "No" isn't always a bad response. Sometimes "No" is the right response – take every proposal from this lame duck Congress for one glaring example.

    November 10, 2010 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  7. Anonymous

    the meaning of the word "conservative" is resistance to change. So it would only figure they are not willing to comprimise or accept others opinions in any form

    November 10, 2010 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  8. carlos

    that is why the republiCONS say there will be transparency, how can you people believe that when their own brains are transparent, completely lacking of cranial mass......but they voted for the imbeciles and more than half of the population in this great country will suffer the consequences of the inmorals, inept, incompetent, corrupt, unamerican reputeacans including those who voted for them.

    November 10, 2010 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  9. Shari from Madison

    Is anyone really surprised at this? It shows that the Repubs are truly the party of my way or the hightway. They care only for keeping their plush jobs and lifestyles. Republicans do not know the art of compromise They should change their name to the NO Party as anyone who disagrees with them is wrong. Self righteous buffoons would be a good name for them too.

    November 10, 2010 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  10. robertJ

    Well,,,did a light bulb finally go on or what ,,, any idiot can see this,,so now all the stupid people who voted Republican last week insist on staying the Republican course or kicking their stiubborn reps ass to get something positive for the country done?
    Remember folks ,,, there is another election in two years and republicans now have only two years to chnage things – EVERYONE is watching after all the blow hard smoke and mirrors campaigning – 2 years – same as they gave the dems,,, good luck with that republicans – you haven't changed anything for the better in the last 40 years!

    November 10, 2010 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  11. once upon a horse

    when are the dumb Dems going to learn that compromise with Republicans mean that the Democrats agree with THEM? You would think that they would know this by now.

    November 10, 2010 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  12. fofo

    Republicans will never compromise. 59% of democrats agree with compromise whereas 41% of republican disagree with compromise and want to stick with their core belief even if little is done. So there we go, the earth was made 7,000 years ago and we don't care what the truth and the facts are, since this is our belief and our faith.

    November 10, 2010 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  13. TomInRochNY

    The Rs are less likely to compromise for the good of the country. Shocker. No one could have predicted that.

    November 10, 2010 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  14. Peace

    No compromise, no work done. I wonder how low the approval rating of Congress (mainly GOP) will go. No surprise to see -200% by the time we approach 2012!

    November 10, 2010 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  15. kat

    BHO doesn't have a clue what he's doing, but I think he's too arrogant to compromise on anything.

    November 10, 2010 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  16. Jen Randle MO

    Compromise is not part of the GOP strategy; never was. They are more about obstructing with a self-serving agenda aimed at further lining the pocket books of the wealthy few in this country. They are also quite good at lying and exaggerating to the point of swaying the ill-informed to vote for their agenda. Little do these people know how against their best interests the GOP platform is. Unbelievable to me. Bush is a fine example of their overall personas; he's been busted for lying in his latest book, but are we really shocked? Not.

    November 10, 2010 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  17. V

    Why am I not surprised? The party of "No" is already spouting "No"! Thanks those of you who voted the obstructionists back in to the House. Nice that they see sticking to party lines a priority over getting the work of the country done. This is for all of you who voted in 2008 – shame on you for not voting in 2010. Hold on folks, it's going to be a bumpy ride.

    November 10, 2010 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  18. HS

    Both Democrats & Republicans agree that the tax cuts for everyone's first $200,000 ($250,000 if married) of income should be extended. The lame duck session of Congress at the end of this year should therefore immediately pass this extension. The extension of the tax cuts for income over $200,000/$250,000 is contentious. Therefore, it's only logical that it should be debated separately by the new Congress next year. Republican assertions that the two must be in one bill makes absolutely no sense, and is only holding tax cuts for everyone hostage for the sake of tax cuts for the richest 2% of Americans.

    November 10, 2010 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  19. sammieb51

    And meanwhile, while the party of NO 'sticks to their guns', tax current tax structure, if it is made permanent will cost the US taxpayers $700,000,000 over the next 10 years (or $70,000,000 per year) - just so those guys that make an AGI of $250K or more can save 3% on their tax bill (like they don't have enough tax incentives). Keep in mind that is UNFUNDED to the US taxpayer, the first major issue the GOP wants to wrangle over is UNFUNDED folks, let's all go back to pre-2006 era politics that got us in this mess to begin with. Also keep in mind that Clinton raised taxes and created 22,000,000 million jobs and Bush lowered taxes dramatically for the over $250K crowd who supposedly create all the jobs and he created 4,000,000 jobs (lost 8,000,000 too). So I am scratching my head right now.

    One question no one has asked Boehner - what has he done for jobs for Ohioans in the past 10 years? They lost how many jobs to outsourcing?

    November 10, 2010 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  20. Get A Grip

    The Democrats wouldn't know 'compromise" if it slapped them in the face. Now they want to 'compromise' when they've lost.

    "We don't mind the Republicans joining us. They can come for the ride, but they gotta sit in back." of many little comments by Oblamer. Yeah, foot.

    November 10, 2010 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
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