Skip Navigation

Close and don't show again.

Your browser is out of date.

You may not get the full experience here on National Journal.

Please upgrade your browser to any of the following supported browsers:

Political Insiders Poll Political Insiders Poll

This ad will end in seconds
Close X

Want access to this content? Learn More »

Forget Your Password?

Don't have an account? Register »

Reveal Navigation


Political Insiders Poll

Political Insiders Poll

How politically important is it to your party for Congress to pass major jobs legislation by the end of this year?

Democrats (107 votes)

Very important: 48%
Somewhat important: 35%
Not too important: 13%
Not important at all: 5%


Very important

“The president has to make it work in Washington; after all, that is what he promised he would do.”

“The anti-Republican message is clear, and a pro-Democratic jobs message is desperately needed.”


“There is nothing more important, especially for the Democrats, because the party that controls the White House will be blamed for no jobs.”

“Just as important as passing the legislation will be the debate between Democrats and Republicans over the jobs legislation. If Republicans keep protecting the wealthy, oil companies, and banks, it will be to their detriment.”

“Big-time bipartisan deals help incumbents (see welfare reform and Clinton/Gingrich). A deal would help Obama and [Senate Majority Leader Harry] Reid, but it would hurt efforts to take back the House.”

“For Democrats, it’s job one, pardon the pun. For Republicans, it’s a sledgehammer against President Obama. Cue the train wreck.”


“If, and only if, the legislation leads to real, quantifiable job creation. Another bitter partisan fight that is all show isn’t important at all.”

Somewhat important

“If unemployment looks like this next fall, no legislative ‘achievement’ will mean much.”

“It is important to pass it or to tag the Republicans with killing it for political reasons.”

“If Obama can push a deal, it will either give him credit, or no deal makes R’s look callous and puts Obama on the political high ground.”

“Best scenario: Republicans kill jobs plan, and Obama blames obstructionist Congress.”

Not too important

“Lawmaking in Washington doesn’t have much political (or, apparently, economic) benefit. It’s about the narrative, not the legislation.”

“Having a bold and far-reaching plan that does not pass is more important politically than having a weak plan that passes.”

Not important at all

“They never will, so let’s stake out our ground with real legislation and beat the you-know-what out of them!”


How politically important is it to your party for Congress to pass major jobs legislation by the end of this year?

Republicans (110 votes)

Very important: 19%
Somewhat important: 30%
Not too important: 36%
Not important at all: 16%

Very important

“The GOP can’t just be the Party of No. With Congress’s approval rating at 13 percent, something positive must be done.”

“Republicans need to empathize with the plight of unemployed and underemployed Americans.”

Somewhat important

“Obama owns the jobs crisis. Congress will not be blamed or credited for jobs, jobs bill or not.”

“The worse the job showing, the more Republicans get elected in November 2012.”

“It is only somewhat important, because this is one time that passing a bill just to say we passed a bill will not be sufficient. The need is so real that half-measures or political gestures will be seen as meaningless and, in fact, counterproductive.”

Not too important

“Depends on what ‘major jobs legislation’ means. You cannot legislate jobs. You can create a climate which encourages jobs creation.”

“What the GOP needs to do is keep individual issues—like regulation, taxes, and trade—front and center to help shape the election.”

“The party that needs a successful jobs bill is led by Obama.”

“The president owns this economy from here to Election Day, and given the gulf between Senate Democrats and House on what can pass, it’s unlikely that any legislation will do what’s needed to help.”

Not important at all

“Passing jobs bills is what Democrats do. Republicans need to push for lower taxes and for the administration to roll back the pending regulations that are inhibiting business growth.”

“The Republicans are under no pressure to pass anything. They’ve already wrestled above their weight with the budget-ceiling deal.”

“Without a jobs bill, Obama takes most of the blame. Complaining about the Republicans just makes him look whiny.”

“It’s in the lap of the president to lead on this issue, not Congress.”


On a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 representing “no chance at all,” rank the likelihood that President Obama will win reelection.

This article appears in the September 10, 2011 edition of National Journal Magazine.

comments powered by Disqus