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Magazine / POLITICAL INSIDERS POLL

Democratic Insiders Happy With Their Party's Fiscal-Cliff Performance

December 6, 2012

To date, which party has performed better during fiscal-cliff negotiations?

DEMOCRATS (109 VOTES)

Republicans: 2%
Democrats: 80%
Neither: 18%

Democrats

 

“Republicans again defending the rich from paying their fair share of the burden. Didn’t they just lose an election over that?”

“The GOP appears out of touch and determined to wish away the results of the 2012 elections.”

“The Republicans don’t seem to understand that they lost the election and that tax rates on the rich will go up. They keep pretending this is 2010. It’s not. The president has the leverage, and he intends to use it.”

“While there have not actually been negotiations, the public seems prepared to blame Republicans if nothing happens.”

“Always better to play offense, to speak with conviction, and to not threaten America’s older voters.”

“The longer it takes Republicans to realize how weak their hand is, the better for Democrats.”

“When the business community is criticizing the Republicans, you know they are in trouble.”

“Republicans are acting as if there wasn’t an election.”

“Republicans do not seem to have learned from the election that tax cuts for the rich don’t impact most Americans. They are about to learn it now.”

“The Republicans continue to look like obstructionists and whiny children, which elevates President Obama.”

“They’ve seized the one issue that resonates—taxing the wealthy—and have run with it. But the president needs a deal, and there’s not a lot of time left.”

“The president has learned to play poker, and he’ll force Republicans to fold.”

Neither

“So far, it is all foreplay. Doesn’t mean much.”

“The president’s initial offer was way too much of an overreach.
But the Republicans can’t speak with one strategic voice about taxes, which weakens them.”

“Come on, both sides look stupid.”

 

To date, which party has performed better during fiscal-cliff negotiations?

REPUBLICANS (104 VOTES)

Republicans: 34%
Democrats: 26%
Neither: 40%

Republicans

“Republicans blinked first on taxes. It was the right thing to do. Unfortunately, Democrats refuse to relinquish any ground on entitlement spending and are doing the country a tremendous disservice.”

“The Republicans actually tried to negotiate, while the Democrats are still celebrating and are mostly engaged in political theater.”

“John Boehner’s opening statement after the election put revenues on the table. The White House responded with a new stimulus proposal and a campaign-style trip bashing Republicans. Instead of becoming Bill Clinton II, President Obama seems destined to become a two-term Jimmy Carter.”

Democrats

“Republicans still have not come up with a good counter to ‘Millionaires and billionaires can afford to pay a little more.’ ”

“Do we have a message on our side?”

“Obama is running circles around the GOP, who can’t seem to get their act together.”

“Boxing in the Republicans and making it appear as though they are voices of reason. Not good.”

Neither

“Neither has performed well, but the absence of presidential leadership is stunning.”

“A standoff—neither side being particularly honest yet. This one goes down to the wire.”

“Both are stonewalling.”

“We shouldn’t expect either side to discuss, publicly, their concessions.”

“Everyone sees where the deal is, but no one seems able to get it done.”

“The country thinks we’re all crazy.”

 

In the new Congress, what should be your party’s top legislative priority?

DEMOCRATS (93 Votes)

Climate change: 8%
Education: 3%
Health care: 4%
Immigration: 30%
Social Security: 11%
Taxes: 44%

Climate change

“It’s an existential threat, and time’s a-wasting. There are plenty of things that could get done even in a divided Congress that would seriously help.”

Education

“Without better connecting the American educational system with our future needs, the next generation of Americans will not thrive economically.”

Health care

“Ensuring that the Affordable Care Act performs as promised and defending it against guerrilla attacks from the right will yield dividends for all other initiatives.”

Immigration

“The Latino vote was decisive in many key states—we need to keep our promise to push for comprehensive immigration reform.”

“Obama should demand an immigration bill with everything he wants and call the Republicans’ bluff on wanting to fix immigration.”

“Important issue socially and economically. And the other side finally has a reason to come to the table.”

Taxes

“A balanced approach to address the country’s fiscal challenge was a central issue in the president’s campaign. He must be seen to make every effort to deliver or risk his credibility.”

“Now is the time for major tax reform—corporate, payroll, income, capital gains. It’s the right policy priority, and if done proactively, Democrats will have strength in what could otherwise be an area favorable to Republicans.”

 

In the new Congress, what should be your party’s top legislative priority?

REPUBLICANS (87 Votes)

Climate change: 0%
Education: 5%
Health care: 2%
Immigration: 29%
Social Security: 8%
Taxes: 56%

Education

“Education gives Republicans an opportunity to get close to voters’ real concerns, while Democrats have to protect wealthy teacher unions at the expense of students.”

Health care

“GOP should push for ‘Obamacare’ reforms, so coming disaster is blamed completely on Democrats.”

Immigration

“No one in the party wants immigrants to think we hate them (we don’t). No Republican is willing to lose elections perpetually on this issue.”

“Taxes will be dealt with in the fiscal-cliff negotiations. The Republican Party needs meaningful immigration reform to avoid long-term irrelevance.”

“It’s the Hispanics, stupid.”

Social Security

“Gotta get a handle on this unsustainable behemoth.”

Taxes

“Revenue streams must be modernized to let us compete in a difficult world market.”

“If we get tax reform wrong, then we really are doomed as a party.”

“Government is still a bad buy for most people. Republicans can win as the party of consumer accountability.”

“Tax policy is still the only method to unleash economic growth, and Republicans shouldn’t surrender an inch.”

-----------------------

Democratic Political Insiders Jill Alper, John Anzalone, Brad Bannon, Dave Beattie, Andy Bechhoefer, Cornell Belcher, Matt Bennett, Mitchell W. Berger, Mike Berman, Stephanie Bosh, Paul Brathwaite, Donna Brazile, Mark Brewer, Ed Bruley, George Bruno, Bonnie Campbell, Bill Carrick, Guy Cecil, Martin J. Chavez, Tony Coelho, Larry Cohen, Jerry Crawford, Brendan Daly, Jeff Danielson, Peter Daou, Howard Dean, Scott DeFife, Jim Demers, Tad Devine, David Di Martino, Debbie Dingell, Monica Dixon, Patrick Dorton, Pat Dujakovich, Anita Dunn, Jeff Eller, Steve Elmendorf, Carter Eskew, Vic Fazio, Peter Fenn, Scott Ferson, Jim Fleischmann, Tina Flournoy, Don Foley, Jeffrey Forbes, Vincent Frillici, Gina Glantz, Niles Godes, John Michael Gonzalez, Joe Grandmaison, Anna Greenberg, Stan Greenberg, Pat Griffin, Larry Grisolano, Michael Gronstal, Lisa Grove, Marcia Hale, Jill Hanauer, Dick Harpootlian, Paul Harstad, Laura Hartigan, Doug Hattaway, Mike Henry, Karen Hicks, Leo Hindery Jr., Harold Ickes, Marcus Jadotte, John Jameson, Steve Jarding, Jonathon Jones, Jim Jordan, Gale Kaufman, Lisa Kountoupes, Celinda Lake, David Lang, Penny Lee, Chris Lehane, Jeff Link, Bob Maloney, Jim Manley, Steve Marchand, Jim Margolis, Paul Maslin, Keith Mason, Susan McCue, Gerald McEntee, Steve McMahon, Tom McMahon, Phil McNamara, David Medina, Michael Meehan, Mark Mellman, John Merrigan, Michael Monroe, Steve Murphy, Janet Napolitano, David Nassar, Marcia Nichols, John Norris, Tom Ochs, Tom O’Donnell, Jeffrey Peck, Debora Pignatelli, Tony Podesta, Jefrey Pollock, Jack Quinn, Larry Rasky, Mame Reiley, Ed Rendell, Steve Ricchetti, Will Robinson, Steve Rosenthal, David Rudd, Ryan Rudominer, John Ryan, Michael Sargeant, Stephanie Schriock, Terry Shumaker, Sean Sinclair, Phil Singer, Erik Smith, Doug Sosnik, Greg Speed, Darry Sragow, Ken Strasma, Doug Thornell, Jeffrey Trammell, Ed Turlington, Rick Wiener, James Williams, JoDee Winterhof, Brian Wolff, Jon Youngdahl, and Jim Zogby.

GOP Political Insiders Dan Allen, Stan Anderson, Gary Andres, Saulius (Saul) Anuzis, Rich Ashooh, Whit Ayres, Brett Bader, Mitch Bainwol, Brian Baker, Gary Bauer, David Beckwith, Paul Bennecke, Clark Benson, Wayne Berman, Brian Bieron, Charlie Black, Kirk Blalock, Carmine Boal, Jeff Boeyink, Ron Bonjean, Jeff Buley, Luke Byars, Nick Calio, Al Cardenas, Danny Carroll, Alex Castellanos, Ron Christie, Jim Cicconi, Jonathan Collegio, Rob Collins, Cesar Conda, Jake Corman, Scott Cottington, Jay Cranford, Greg Crist, Diane Crookham-Johnson, Fergus Cullen, Tom Davis, Mike Dennehy, Ken Duberstein, Debi Durham, Sara Fagen, Frank Fahrenkopf, John Feehery, Don Fierce, Mindy Finn, Carl Forti, Alex Gage, Bruce A. Gates, Sam Geduldig, Adam Geller, Benjamin Ginsberg, David Girard-diCarlo, Bill Greener, Jonathan Grella, Lanny Griffith, Janet Mullins Grissom, Doug Gross, Todd Harris, Steve Hart, Christopher Healy, Ralph Hellmann, Chris Henick, Terry Holt, David Iannelli, Ed Ingle, Jim Innocenzi, Clark Judge, David Keating, David Kensinger, Bob Kjellander, Ed Kutler, Chris LaCivita, Jim Lake, Steven Law, Steve Lombardo, Kevin Madden, Joel Maiola, Gary Maloney, David Marin, Mary Matalin, Dan Mattoon, Brian McCormack, Mark McKinnon, Kyle McSlarrow, Ken Mehlman, Jim Merrill, Lisa Camooso Miller, Tim Morrison, Mike Murphy, Phil Musser, Ron Nehring, Terry Nelson, Neil Newhouse, David Norcross, Ziad Ojakli, Jack Oliver, Todd Olsen, Kevin O’Neill, Connie Partoyan, Billy Piper, Van B. Poole, Tom Rath, Scott Reed, David Rehr, Tom Reynolds, Steve Roberts, Jason Roe, David Roederer, Dan Schnur, Russ Schriefer, Rich Schwarm, Brent Seaborn, Rick Shelby, Andrew Shore, Kevin Shuvalov, Don Sipple, Ken Spain, Fred Steeper, Bob Stevenson, Terry Sullivan, David Tamasi, Eric Tanenblatt, Richard Temple, Heath Thompson, Jay Timmons, Warren Tompkins, Ted Van Der Meid, Dirk van Dongen, Jan van Lohuizen, Stewart Verdery, Dick Wadhams, John Weaver, Lezlee Westine, Dave Winston, Ginny Wolfe, Fred Wszolek, and Matthew Zablud.

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