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Poll: Does a Senator's Ability to Filibuster Help or Hurt Your Party? Poll: Does a Senator's Ability to Filibuster Help or Hurt Your Party?

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Poll: Does a Senator's Ability to Filibuster Help or Hurt Your Party?


Poll: Does a Senator's Ability to Filibuster Help or Hurt Your Party?

By Michael Catalini, and Peter Bell


Q: On balance, does a senator's ability to filibuster help, hurt, or not affect your party?


Help: 22%
Hurt: 52%
Not affect: 26%


Sen. Rand Paul, stalls the chamber in March 2013, starting what he called a filibuster of John Brennan's nomination for CIA director. (AP Photo/Senate Television)"The public hates extremes—the filibuster has kept the country moderate."

"My party will understand this better if they end up in the minority."

"Hard question because of the worst recent usages. But the theoretical use of a filibuster is helpful."


"The way the modern filibuster works, it harms the party employing it. The senator appears to be a spoiled brat stamping his or her feet in the corner while 320 million are held up by the spectacle."

"Heck with the party—it sucks for the nation!"

"Hurts my party, and our country."

Not affect

"Over time, the door swings both ways."

"Used properly, filibusters are healthy—but it's been a long time since that's actually happened. It hurts both equally."


Q: On balance, does a senator's ability to filibuster help, hurt, or not affect your party?


Help: 47%
Hurt: 19%
Not affect: 34%


"Whenever there is more discussion—more awareness of what the Senate is doing—the GOP benefits."

"It is the only leverage the minority has."

"The filibuster is the last vestige of minority rights in American democracy. Which means it's often the last best hope of derailing a faddish populist idea that would have disastrous consequences."

"All checks on federal authority are good."

"Actually think it helps both parties. Forces consensus over inaction. At some point, these guys have to stop acting like infants."


" 'Party of no' is no way to stay in the majority."

"Filibusters today are more Ted Cruz than Jimmy Stewart—far from noble, they are reminders of a broken system."

"We are hostage to the fringe."

Not affect

"It's a weapon that cuts both ways almost equally."

"It's not party-specific. It's an institutional thing. It's what makes the Senate more than a smaller version of the House."

"The American public couldn't care less about this stuff."

. . . . . . . . . . . . .

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, 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. 

This article appears in the August 2, 2014 edition of National Journal Magazine as Political Insiders Poll.


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