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. fiscal conservative

    Any republican or democrat who votes to extend the Bush unfunded tax cuts at the expense of $4 trillion to our national debt, needs to be removed from office. Maybe Sharron Angle can remove them with her second amendment remedies.

    November 10, 2010 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  2. Rick McDaniel

    We expected anything different?????

    November 10, 2010 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  3. American

    Hence the reason the 111th Congress has actually gotten reasonable solutions accomplished through reaching across the aisle, and why the prior "my way or the highway" GOP majorities were referred to as the Do-nothing Congress. Oh well, the circus is coming back to town in Jan. Hope I'm wrong this time....

    November 10, 2010 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  4. rdepontb

    Republicans-if thse numbers are true, I hope it is just a temporary situation. Usually those who have a recent win under their belts have little short-term motivation to compromise or give away anything. Now's the time to put on your grown-up pants and think of the future of this nation, think of the bigger picture-yes, US against the world, not US vs US.

    November 10, 2010 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  5. MAhole

    So NOTHING has changed.......... The republicans will continue to be the party of NO and will continue to stiff anything president Obama and the democrats try to do – how wonderful is that????
    Gee – the elections were over a week ago and look – unemployment is still over 9.6% – we all thought that as soon as the republicans took over everything would be just hunky-freakin'-dory – it sure looks like politics as usual to me.
    Party before country – the republican way. Stupid sheeple................

    November 10, 2010 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  6. Jack

    Well as I see it it is trending towards compromise.

    November 10, 2010 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  7. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    No compromise = No progress

    However, when the democrats had control of Congress, they should have sad to hell with compromise because they knew rom the very beginning republicans were going to say NO to everything.

    November 10, 2010 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  8. PAUL W!

    The GOP has been in power a week and I see no change in the Unemployment Rate and I see stocks falling. Well done dinguses!

    November 10, 2010 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  9. Rickster

    Compromise with democrats through the years is what has gotten us into the mess that we are in now. Entitlement compromise, open borders compromise, multi-culturalism compromise, economic compromise, etc., etc., etc. We are far, far removed from the great country that has led the world for the past 100 years and that decline is mostly due to compromising with democrats.

    November 10, 2010 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  10. Oregon Calling

    Let All of the tax cuts expire.

    Peace 🙂

    November 10, 2010 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  11. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Republicans work for 2% of the population so they don't have to making compromises to work with anyone, the rest of Americans can suck eggs.

    November 10, 2010 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  12. Sniffit

    That's just a mathematical way of showing what we already knew based on their behavior over the past 2 years: the GOP believes in party ideology over country. And don't give me that crap about how "far left radical" the Dems have been. They passed a heatlh care reform bill that was largely what the GOP proposed in the 90's and have otherwise behaved in a very centrist manner. The reality is, the GOP retreated way to the right because it didn't want to compromise on ANYTHING and instead wanted to obstruct and cause failure for their own personal political gain. They have 2 things planned for the next 2 years and 2 things only: shit down the government and withchunt the Obama administration.

    November 10, 2010 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  13. PalmReader

    "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."

    In actuality, 40% of Americans voted in last week's midterm elections. Therefore, it's a mixed bag as to why 60% stayed home. Pollsters might do well to try and tap into what kept 60% home. Apparently those who stayed home ARE the majority now. I think we all know where the GOPers stand on compromise. They haven't exactly been shy with their *Hell No's*.

    November 10, 2010 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  14. ken

    The voters will learn that the GOP does not care about creating jobs, they only care about extending tax cuts for the filty rich, and repealing healthcare.

    November 10, 2010 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  15. Renee

    Lets take back America from the Republicans!

    November 10, 2010 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  16. Sandra

    The Republican definition of compromise is 'do it my way or I will take my toys and go home'. I cannot believe that so many people buy into their rhetoric. They are the perfect example of total hypocrites.

    November 10, 2010 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  17. SayWhat

    What percentage of Republicans agree that it is best for political "leaders" to try to deliberately obstruct things from getting done, not on the basis of "beliefs", but soley in order to try to regain power and please their corporate masters?

    November 10, 2010 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  18. Sniffit

    OOOH, and I got a poll for you...poll: "...when respondents were given the choice between cutting the defense budget, raising taxes on the wealthy and cutting Social Security to reduce the deficit, just 12% said they'd like to see the entitlement program cut. Forty-three percent said they'd prefer to see taxes on the wealthy go up, and 22% said cutting the huge defense budget was the best way to go."

    Watch how studiouslly CNN avoids reporting these findings.

    November 10, 2010 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  19. Ben in Texas

    I keep hearing Repugnants saying, "The Dems just don't get it." What they mean is, "The Dems haven't completely capitulated, like they should have."

    So, when the Repugnants found themselves out of the White House and in the minority in the House and Senate in 2008, did they "get it"? Did they bow to the will of the electorate and work with the new President and Congress? No! They went into bunker mode and became the Party of No. They never negotiated. They voted NO in lockstep and did everything they could to prolong the recession and kill off more American jobs.

    The Repugnants need to get kicked in the teeth. The Dems should set up the Senate rules to kill every Repug idea in its tracks. Shouldn't be hard, since the Repugs have no ideas except "more for the rich" and "run up the deficits".

    November 10, 2010 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  20. Ray E. (Georgia)

    If we follow the Democrat scereno we will continue to go bankrupt, there will be no jobs recovery, but we will have foodstamps. Obama says the Republicians drove the car into the ditch. Well the democrats have been digging that ditch for the last 75 years with big government social programs. It is time for paople to begin to pay up. And they will, one way or the other.

    November 10, 2010 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  21. 2+2=5

    Compromise? never heard of it. Neither have these guys. And why does the one on the right look like he just did something really bad.......nevermind.

    November 10, 2010 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  22. John

    The way I see It both party work for the AMERICAN PEOPLE so way don't they worry want the AMERICAN PEOPLE want. And not wish party is right. This is the last time I vote Republican If you mess It up this time, and right now some of the thing I heard are not sounding too good right now. Reminder second chance and last one.

    November 10, 2010 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  23. Dave

    This is news? The GOP has zero interest in compromising with anyone on anything. Even when they are in the minority, they think they should always get their own way. Sounds more typical of dumb, spoiled children, but if the shoe fits, the GOP can wear it.

    November 10, 2010 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  24. brosco76

    I'd be curious to know if these beliefs are social, economic or both.

    November 10, 2010 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  25. William Jefferson

    This is a surprise? After 2 years of nothing but no? And the 2 years before that of nothing but no and vetos?

    For republicons - as grover norquist so eloquently said - "bipartisan means date rape." They are only willing to "compromise" if that means getting everything they want and everyone else getting nothing.

    Don't expect much for the next 2 years except a plunge into a Depression and republicons trying to blame the President for it.

    November 10, 2010 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
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