No Republican mandate, but no Democratic one either

November 10, 2014, 10:16 AM GMT+0

The results of the recent midterms are widely seen as a rejection of Democratic policies, not an endorsement of Republican ones

After the strong Republican performance in the recent midterm elections, the likely Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell has said that the new Republican-controlled Congress will make an effort to compromise with the President. He identified new free trade agreements and tax reform as potential opportunities for bipartisan cooperation. Immigration reform could quickly destroy the new atmosphere of cooperation, however, and a recent breakfast meeting on the topic between the President and the GOP leadership was apparently contentious and saw no movement towards a grand bargain.

The latest research from YouGov shows that most Americans, including most Republicans, view the recent midterms as more of a rejection of Democratic policies than an endorsement of Republican ones. Overall, 56% of Americans say that the recent election is mainly a rejection of Democratic policies while only 15% view it as a popular endorsement of Republican policies. Republicans are actually the most likely (68%) to view the results as a rejection of the Democrats instead of an endorsement of the GOP (18%).

A large majority of the public say that the President and the Congressional leadership should cooperate in the coming Congress. 59% of Americans want Republicans in Congress to compromise some of their positions in order to work with Democrats, while 26% want them to stick to their positions even if it means no agreement is reached. 63% want the President to compromise his positions in order to work with the Republicans and only 21% want Obama to hold fast to his current policies.

Partisans of each party are nearly evenly divided on whether or not they want their side to compromise or stick to their positions. 42% of self-identified Republicans want Republicans in Congress to compromise, while 45% want them to stick to their positions. When it comes to self-identified Democrats, 45% want President Obama to compromise while 42% want him to refuse to compromise.

Unsurprisingly, large majorities of Republicans (87%) and Democrats (84%) say that the opposing side should compromise rather than stick to their positions.

Full poll results can be found here.