Thursday, December 18, 2014

Voters want Obama to work with Congress… and vice versa

Two new polls show that voters do not want the governmental gridlock to continue next year. The most recent poll, released on December 17 by Rasmussen, shows that an overwhelming majority of voters think that President Obama and Congress should work together to achieve what is best for the country. Eighty-two percent told Rasmussen that they would prefer that Democrats and Republicans work together rather than to stand firm on their principles.

The Rasmussen poll mirrors a McClatchy-Marist poll from earlier in the week that found similar results. The McClatchy poll, taken before negotiations on the cromnibus were completed, found that 70 percent favored compromise. As some members of both parties pushed for a government shutdown over the budget battle, only 26 percent of voters approved of shutting the government down over a stand on principle.

The new polling is substantially unchanged from a Gallup poll taken before the election and several polls that preceded the 2013 government shutdown. Voters have consistently valued functional government over strict principles.

This is contrary to the view of many partisans on both sides of the aisle. Most notably, conservative radio host, Rush Limbaugh, said after the election, “You do not have election results like we had yesterday with the intent being that the voters intend the winners to work with the losers. This election was about stopping the losers, in this case the Democrats.”

While Limbaugh is correct that most voters (48 percent according to McClatchy) favor an agenda in Washington that is set by Republicans, they clearly reject obstructionism. The compromise on the cromnibus was a reflection of voter desires bypass partisan difference and repair dysfunctional government.


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