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Magazine / Political Insiders Poll

Political Insiders Poll

November 11, 2010

Should your party pursue compromise or confrontation with the other party during the first several months of the new Congress?

Democrats (103 votes)

Compromise: 55%
Confrontation:  34%
Both, depends (volunteered): 11%



“Swing voters want bipartisanship and compromise. Confrontation is very risky politics at the start of the new Congress for either party.”

“Confrontation got us nowhere, and I don’t care if [John] Boehner and [Mitch] McConnell go to the mats. If the economy turns around and we are the ones offering an olive branch, we win and they go down like Newt [Gingrich] before them.”

“Compromise on measures that will improve the economic recovery: Any uptick in the economy accrues to Obama’s benefit.”

“There is the small matter of the good of the country, which should occasionally cross the radar screen of members of Congress.”

“Regardless of the facts, the country thinks the Democrats have gotten it wrong, and we need to show an ability to or an attempt at working with the other side.”

“But only initially; then fight like hell.”


“Democrats know all too well the trap of conciliation and compromise for the sake of reaching across the aisle. And there is less incentive now for the Republicans to meet them halfway.”

“2012 will depend on contrast and not compromise.”

“Our side needs to identify principled issues that we won’t compromise on, even if it means losing an election.”

“Confrontation every step of the way: There are real differences between the two parties, and the Democrats will benefit from the comparison of ideas.”

Both, depends

“Compromise on some issues: trade, jobs, economy, energy. Confrontation on others: health care repeal.”


Should your party pursue compromise or confrontation with the other party during the first several months of the new Congress?

Republicans (103 votes)

Compromise: 29%
Confrontation: 46%
Both, depends (volunteered): 25%


“Politically, I think voters need to see the GOP try to work to get some things done and stand on principle on others.”

“There are still plenty of issues where agreement can be made—work on those and size up how it works.”

“Voters chose a balanced voice in their representation. Now that we have two parties represented, it’s time to find common ground.”


“New Republicans were elected to take a different path, not to compromise with Democrats.”

“Obama and Dems must realize [there are] new limits on their power. How they react will decide all.”

“The Dems need to understand more about our bottom line, and the base needs to see us fight.”

“It’s clear we are 180 degrees apart, so bring it on.”

“The president hasn’t figured out that his agenda was repudiated by the voters. The GOP Congress hopefully heard the message loud and clear.”

“No compromise. As Obama might say, ‘We won; elections have consequences.’ Indeed.”

Both, depends

“Confront on Obamacare, tax hikes, and overspending. Compromise on entitlement reform and pro-growth tax incentives.”

“They should be firm on matters of principle, but they should demonstrate an ability and willingness to work cooperatively on matters outside of the core values.”


Can the current House GOP leadership represent tea party interests well?

Democrats (103 votes)

Yes: 39%
No: 60%
Initially (volunteered): 1%


“If they stick to cutting spending. Not so much if the tea partiers
start pushing their more outlandish ideas right off the bat.”

“Unlike the Senate, they can pass legislation that will appease the
tea partiers and then wait for the Senate.”

“With qualifications; assuming we know what ‘tea party interests’ really are. But I assume they won’t abandon this part of their base.”

“My experience with the tea party was that they were Republicans: They should get along just fine.”

“Representing the extremely wealthy while pretending to be populists is second nature to them.”


“If leadership wants to retain control in a presidential year, they
will have to be moderate.”

“Speaker Boehner will have more trouble with [Rep.] Michele Bachmann [R-Minn.] than he does with Nancy Pelosi.”

“The essence to what the tea party wants is big change now—that
will not happen in Congress.”

“You can’t be the party of the tea party and Wall Street at the same time.”

“Tea party-type extreme will be tough to achieve, even for these extremists.”

“It is going to look like Lord of the Flies by August.”

“The tea party outsiders will soon be reminded that the GOP House leadership has been entrenched in D.C. for decades and contributed significantly to the current budget troubles.”

“To succeed electorally, Boehner needs to find common ground
with the president, and the tea party won’t let Boehner do that.”


Can the current House GOP leadership represent tea party interests well?

Republicans (103 votes)

Yes: 92%
No: 8%


“GOP leaders are true believers in small-government conservatism.”

“They can on issues like spending, but not entirely because you
can’t actually fully define what the ‘tea party interests’ are.”

“The tea party is about economic discipline and individual liberty.
If we can’t be their champions, we should quit.”

“Provided those interests continue to be rooted more in economic than in social conservatism.”

“As long as the GOP puts a lid on spending, the tea party will be happy.”

“Tea party interests need to be on the bus, but they don’t need to drive the bus. Existing leadership should be able to provide some adult supervision and exert some control over the loose cannons.”

“For the two-thirds of the tea party who want government to work better, yes. The one-third who think government should go away
can’t be represented by anyone.”

“Boehner fully recognizes the importance they played in providing Republicans with a majority and will include them as important
parts of the team.”

“Representing the tea party interests doesn’t mean accommodating [Rep. Michele] Bachmann [R-Minn.]. They’ll do fine.”

“But they will be on a short leash to cut taxes and repeal health care.”

“Boehner has the soul of a Main Street small-business owner and
has lived what the tea party is feeling.”

“It will be tough to keep them happy, though.”


“You can’t lead when all the tea party types want to do is say no. Tea partiers are genetically programmed to be in the minority opposition; that’s not what majority leadership is about.”


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, Deb Callahan, Bonnie Campbell, Bill Carrick, Guy Cecil, Martin J. Chavez, Tony Coelho, Larry Cohen, Jerry Crawford, Stephanie Cutter, Jeff Danielson, Peter Daou, Howard Dean, Jim Demers, Tad Devine, David Di Martino, Debbie Dingell, Monica Dixon, Patrick Dorton, Pat Dujakovich, Anita Dunn, Jeff Eller, Steve Elmendorf, Carter Eskew, Eric Eve, Vic Fazio, Peter Fenn, Scott Ferson, Jim Fleischmann, Tina Flournoy, Don Foley, Don Fowler, 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, Kam Kuwata, Celinda Lake, David Lang, Penny Lee, Chris Lehane, Jeff Link, Bill Lynch, Bob Maloney, Steve Marchand, Jim Margolis, Paul Maslin, Keith Mason, Terry McAuliffe, Susan McCue, Gerald McEntee, Tom McMahon, Phil McNamara, David Medina, Michael Meehan, Mark Mellman, John Merrigan, Steve Murphy, Janet Napolitano, David Nassar, Marcia Nichols, John Norris, Tom Ochs, Tom O’Donnell, Scott Parven, Jeffrey Peck, Debora Pignatelli, Tony Podesta, Jack Quinn, Larry Rasky, Bruce Reed, Mame Reiley, Steve Ricchetti, Will Robinson, Steve Rosenthal, David Rudd, John Ryan, Michael Sargeant, Stephanie Schriock, Wendy Sherman, Terry Shumaker, Sean Sinclair, Phil Singer, Erik Smith, Doug Sosnik, Greg Speed, Darry Sragow, Ken Strasma, Katrina Swett Sarah, Swisher, Jeffrey Trammell, Ed Turlington, Rick Wiener, Bridgette Williams, 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, Gary Bauer, David Beckwith, 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, Ron Christie, Jim Cicconi, Rob Collins, Cesar Conda, Jake Corman, Scott Cottington, Greg Crist, Diane Crookham-Johnson, Fergus Cullen, Tom Davis, Mike Dennehy, Ken Duberstein, Steve Duprey, Debi Durham, Sara Fagen, Frank Fahrenkopf, John Feehery, Don Fierce, Mindy Finn, Mindy Fletcher, 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, Barry Jackson, Clark Judge, David Keating, David Kensinger, Bruce Keough, Bob Kjellander, Ed Kutler, Chris LaCivita, Jim Lake, 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, Connie Partoyan, Dana Perino, 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, Fred Steeper, Bob Stevenson, 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, Tom Wilson, Dave Winston, Ginny Wolfe, and Fred Wszolek.

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