October 19, 2010

Republicans & Democrats: Bicker, Bicker, Bicker

77%

Pre-election, the public overwhelmingly said that Republicans and Democrats bickered more than usual this year rather than working together.

One thing that voters may be hoping is that post-election politics will be less contentious. Before last week’s elections, some three-quarters of Americans (77%) said that Republicans and Democrats had been bickering more than usual this year. Just 8% saw the two parties working together more than usual. The widespread perception that the political debate has been filled with more bickering is even higher than it was in October 1995, when disputes between Republicans and Democrats led to a government shutdown later that year. In 1995, 72% said there was more bickering than usual, while 21% said the parties were working together. Nearly equal percentages of Republicans (80%), Democrats (80%) and independents (78%) say that partisans in Washington are bickering and opposing one another more than usual. At the beginning of the Obama administration in January 2009, fully 50% said they expected Republicans and Democrats to work together more while 39% said they expected increased partisan bickering. Read More