The fierce partisanship seen in the debt ceiling battle got me thinking about how the nation sees the Republican and Democratic parties. A new Gallup poll shows the public isn’t happy with the standoff: House Speaker John Boehner gets a 31% approval rating for his handling of the crisis, while 41% approve of how Obama is managing the situation.
According to a new Pew survey, most Americans just want the two parties to get it done and over with: 68% of those polled said lawmakers should “be willing to compromise,” even if the final deal is one the lawmaker “disagrees” with. These views varied by party: Democrats were overwhelmingly in favor of compromise (81%) while only half of Republicans felt the same way. Of Republicans, Tea Party Republicans were the least likely to think they should sacrifice their values for the common good: 53% said they should “stand by their principles” instead.
The Pew survey had some other interesting findings about how Americans are seeing the parties during this time of struggle. Republicans are seen as “extreme” while Democrats are seen as being more ethical and concerned with citizens’ needs. Looking Google’s autocomplete options, though, it seems many may think of the parties similarly: “stupid” is the #1 autocomplete option for “Why are Republicans/Democrats so…”. After that, Republicans get “hateful,” “evil,” “selfish,” and “mean” while Democrats get “weak,” “dumb,” “stupid” again, and “angry.” Hmmm, both sound so appealing. Guess we’ll see next year which party voters truly prefer.