Many political analysts have wondered whether the political obstruction of Republicans would ever cost them at the polls. In the 2010 midterms voters gave the Republicans tremendous gains in both the House of Representatives and Senate despite the “party of no” label put on the GOP. Indeed, Republicans set a filibuster record in the 111th Congress by preventing votes on more legislation than any time in history. For a long time Republicans have actually benefited from this strategy, but a new CNN poll suggest that the American voter may be turning on the GOP.
According to CNN most Americans now consider President Obama more willing to compromise than Republicans. A large majority (59%) of Americans believe that President Obama is “doing enough” to cooperate with Republicans in Congress. In contrast, just 28% of Americans believe that Republicans are doing enough to cooperate with the President and 69% believe they are not doing enough.
This perception may also be hurting the overall approval rating of Republicans. The American public is split in their opinion of the Democrats with 47% approving and 47% disapproving. Americans generally disapprove of the Republican Party with just 42% approving and 50% disapproving. When asked mores specifically about how each party is handling “tax cuts, unemployment benefits, government spending, gays in the military, and nuclear arms” in the lame duck session Americans also disapproved of the Republican Party by giving them just 42% approval and 53% disapproval.
It should be noted that these results were from December 17th through the 19th. It was at this time that Republicans were still filibustering most legislation in Congress including the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” and the START Treaty. Since the poll was taken, and possibly in response to poll numbers like these, Republicans relented and allowed for passage of the repeal of DADT, the START Treaty, and a number of other items on the Democratic agenda.
Some conservatives have criticized the Republicans for giving in too much to the President and Democrats over this last week. However, these poll numbers suggests that Republicans were dangerously close to having a super-majority of Americans turn on them over their obstructionism. It has yet to be seen whether the public will have a more positive view of the GOP after the last week of compromise. Regardless, this newest poll shows that the public does have a limit when it comes to the amount of obstruction they allow in Congress.