Voters warming to compromise in Congress

July 24, 2013, 1:24 PM GMT+0

Congress may be deadlocked, but voters increasingly want their Congresspeople to compromise. Blame for the deadlock leans towards Republicans.

In recent years it has become an increasingly common refrain in the media that major political issues lay unaddressed due to partisan gridlock in Congress. As recent events in the Senate show it has even become a struggle for the President to make executive appointments, though a deal was reached in this case to approve the President's choices and avoid changes to filibuster rules.

The latest YouGov research shows that partisans of both parties increasingly want their Congresspeople to be more willing to compromise. YouGov research from July 2011 showed that two-thirds of Republicans wanted Congresspeople to stick to their principles no matter what, while only 34% wanted them to compromise in order to get things done. Over the past two years the number of anti-compromise Republicans has dropped 10%. 56% now say that they want principles to be stuck to no matter what while 44% now want their Congressperson to compromise.

The exact same shift can be seen among Democrats, with the percentage of Democrats who want a Congressperson who compromises increasing from 68% to 78%, while the number who want a Congressperson who sticks to principles no matter what has dropped from 32% to 22%.

Overall, Democrats are the most likely to want a Congressperson who is willing to compromise instead of resolutely sticking to principle, while Republicans are the least likely and Independents fall in the middle.

69% of Americans think that Congress is currently in a state of partisan gridlock. Among this 69%, 41% say that Republicans are the most responsible for this, while another 40% say that both Democrats and Republicans are equally responsible. 19% believe that Democrats are most responsible for the current partisan gridlock.

Unsurprisingly there is a major partisan divide on the issue of who is most to blame. 81% of Democrats exclusively blame Republicans, while Republicans are more split, with 38% blaming just the Democrats and 59% blaming Democrats and their own party equally.

When asked whether Republicans in Congress should compromise more often, Republicans were nearly evenly split on the issue, with 45% saying they should not and 39% of Republicans saying that they should.

The same question was asked about Democrats in Congress, but Democrats were much more likely to say that Democrats in Congress should not compromise. 49% said that Democrats in Congress do not need to compromise more, while only 27% said that they should compromise more often.

Full results can be found here.

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