Benjamin Fearnow

WASHINGTON (CBS DC) — As Republicans take hold of the U.S. Senate in Washington today, Americans aren’t expecting much change or positivity to come from Congress.

A CNN/ORC poll released Tuesday finds that more than 6-in-10 U.S. adults believe the new Congress won’t get any more done than the previous set of lawmakers, with nearly half (48 percent) of Americans saying they expect “no difference” in responsiveness with Republicans in control of the Senate.  Apathy is widely expressed by those polled, with more than half (52 percent) saying Republicans in power will show no difference from when Democrats were in control.

In addition to the 47 percent of U.S. adults who say there will be no difference in the amount accomplished by Congress, 15 percent say less will get done.

Aside from the overwhelming apathy shown in the poll, Americans are starkly divided on what direction they see the new Congress going into 2015.

The December 18-21 poll found that 28 percent of Americans think Republicans will do a better job running the U.S Senate than Democrats, but 24 percent say things will be worse. Thirty percent of Americans said this Congress would be more responsive than the last – down nearly 20 percent from 2006 when 51 percent of Americans expected Congress to be in touch with citizens.

Thirty-seven percent of Americans said this Congress will get more done than the last, although 47 percent say there will be no difference.

More Americans blame the Republican Party for the “lack of cooperation” in Washington, with 42 percent faulting the GOP and 31 percent blaming the Democratic Party. One-quarter say both parties are to blame for dysfunction in D.C.

In the widest divide between Americans, nearly half of Americans say each individual party should have to drop their proposals in order to make way for bipartisan solutions. Forty-seven and 46 percent of Americans say the Democratic and Republican parties, respectively, should make way for the other party’s agenda.

The survey also showed a nearly even split in how Americans view the role of government.

Fifty-eight percent of those surveyed said that government is “doing too much,” down slightly from last year, while 37 percent of Americans say government “should do more.”

Fifty-five percent of Americans said government should not favor or promote any set of values onto society.


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