WASHINGTON (CBS DC) — In the wake of last week’s midterm elections that gave GOP lawmakers control of both the House and Senate, a clear majority of Republican voters say they don’t want their party leaders working with President Barack Obama – even if it means less gets done in Washington.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., the probable new Senate Majority Leader, and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, have both stated their willingness to embrace bipartisanship in Washington. But a new Pew Research Center poll shows that two-thirds of Republicans (66 percent) say GOP leaders should “stand up” to Obama, “even if less gets done.”
Among overall voters polled, 57 percent of respondents said Republican leaders in Washington should try as best they can to work with Obama to accomplish things, even if it means disappointing some GOP supporters. But 40 percent said Republicans should “stand up” to Obama on issues important to the party, even if the result is less overall action in Washington.
About a two-to-one margin of overall voters (62 percent to 30 percent) say Obama should work with Republicans than say he should stand up to the GOP.
The poll data suggests that willingness for compromise has decreased significantly within the Republican Party from 2012, although the shift away from bipartisan appeal is similar among GOP voters surveyed during the 2010 midterm elections that gave rise to the Tea Party.
Just fewer than one-third of Republicans and Republican-leaning U.S. adults (32 percent) want to see the newly-elected GOP lawmakers work with Obama if it disappoints some groups of party supporters. By a 57 percent to 39 percent margin, more Republicans and Republican leaning independents say their party’s leadership should move in a more conservative, rather than more moderate, direction.
In contrast, more than half (52 percent) of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents say Obama should try as best as he can to work with Republican leaders even if it results in disappointment among some Democratic groups. But 43 percent of Democrats say Obama should “stand up” on issues important to Democratic groups even if it means less productivity in Washington.
Following Obama’s 2012 re-election, greater support for bipartisan compromise was seen among U.S. voters. Two-thirds (67 percent) of voters said GOP leaders should try to work with the president, and nearly three-quarters (72 percent) said Obama should work with Republicans in Congress.
A new Gallup poll released this week showed that a majority of U.S. voters (53 percent) want the GOP in Congress to have more influence than Obama. A third said they expect the nation to be better off, while nearly one-in-five (19 percent) say the country will be worse off.