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Political Insiders Poll

Political Insiders Poll

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.”

This article appears in the November 13, 2010 edition of National Journal Magazine.

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