Americans predict little compromise, less action in split DC
- The chaotic election for Speaker of the House convinced Americans 58% to 17% that Republicans are unlikely to compromise with Democrats in the next two years.
- Just one in ten respondents say none of the major parties is “too extreme”, a sign of intense polarization.
- Since August, Trump’s positive rating is down 7 points among Republicans and 9 points among independents.
Call them realistic: Americans are set for little compromise and fewer actions in Washington over the next two years of divided government.
Republicans’ chaotic battle to select a new House Speaker left the public 61% to 17% convinced that the GOP and President Joe Biden are less likely to come together in the new era of divided government, a USA TODAY/Ipsos exclusive will poll finds. With a broad majority of 58% to 17%, they think Republicans are unlikely to compromise with Democrats in the next two years.
Half of respondents say moderate Republicans in Congress should have reached an agreement with moderate Democrats to elect a moderate GOP speaker. A third reject the idea, which in times of intense polarization is dismissed as unthinkable anyway.
The survey of 2,010 adults, conducted Jan. 10-11 in Ipsos’ online panel, has a credibility interval of plus or minus 2.7 percentage points for the total sample, 4.1 points for the Democratic sub-sample and 4.6 Points for the Republican subsample.
McCarthy’s choice received mixed reviews: 33% agree, 34% disagree. There is some cynicism about the motives of colleagues who forced fifteen ballots before the California Republican got the required majority: 39% say it was because of resentment, ambition and ego; 29% say this is due to serious disagreements about politics and governance.
The poll was closely followed by 51% of respondents, including just 16% who say they follow it “very closely”.
A third, 34%, say the tumultuous election, its machinations in the House of Representatives captured by C-SPAN cameras, has weakened the Republican Party; 19% say it has strengthened the GOP.
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“People have largely tuned out the noise of the historic marathon vote for the Speaker of the House,” said Clifford Young, president of US public affairs at Ipsos Done in Washington.
Both parties were extremely judgmental, even of some of their own
Many of those interviewed come into conflict with the leaders of their own party.
Among Republican voters, 47% of GOP leaders say they hold more conservative views than their own, a higher number than the 41% who say their views are about the same. Twelve percent say the leaders are more liberal than they are.
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Among Democratic voters, 37% say Democratic leaders are more liberal than they are; 44% say their views are about the same. Nineteen percent say the leaders are more conservative than they are.
In response to another question, a total of 28% named the Republican Party “too extreme” and 25% named the Democratic Party “too extreme”. Another 26% describe both as extreme.
Just one in ten Americans, 10%, say no party is too extreme, a reflection of how strained the nation’s politics have become. It helps explain why bipartisanship has become so difficult when one side or the other or both are seen as outside the mainstream.
The Republican Party is said to be tougher on crime and better on the economy. The Democratic Party is seen as more inclusive, willing to compromise to get things done, and more effective when it comes to getting its agenda through, including using the media.
After inflation, no agreement on the nation’s major problems
Americans have inflation high on their agenda across the board, but after that the consensus ends.
For Republican voters, the main issues facing the nation afterward are immigration, government budget and debt, and crime.
For Democratic voters, these are gun violence, climate change, and political extremism.
Trump’s ratings are on a slide
Former President Donald Trump’s ratings continue to fall among both Republican voters and independent voters, or people who tend not to vote.
His favorable rating among Republicans now stands at 74%, down seven percentage points since the August poll. Among those who don’t support either party, his rating has dropped nine points from 39% to 30%.
That decline has cost him the advantage over Biden he had last summer. At the time, Trump’s approval rating among independents and nonvoters was 39%, 13 points higher than Biden’s 26%. Now Biden’s rating is up to 31%, one point higher than Trump among voters who often determine the outcome of elections.
More:Democratic support for Biden in 2024 surges after midterms as Trump takes a hit, USA TODAY/Ipsos Poll notes