Q: Is it in your party's interest to work with the other party on Wall Street reform?
DEMOCRATS (101 votes)
Yes 57 percent No 39 percent Volunteered: Just get something done, 2 percent; only if it's a strong bill, 1 percent; depends, 1 percent.e>
"I am as partisan as any Democrat, but we cannot screw around with the capital markets and economy just for partisan gain. We need to get this right."
"Only a compromise will yield a positive outcome. And while Republicans don't want to admit it, they need a strong reform bill to help differentiate [themselves] from the indifference of the Bush administration."ADVERTISEMENT
"The American people are demanding accountability and transparency on Wall Street. Washington better respond."
"We should work [together] on Wall Street reform, but only if it actually has teeth. Again, real accomplishments matter."
"There is common ground with both parties on Wall Street reform. Democrats should try to work with Republicans."
"Rhetoric doesn't work when you're completely in charge."
"The best way to persuade independents that Democrats are serious about bipartisanship after health care is to have a strong bipartisan vote for financial regulatory reform."
"Although we should be prepared to pass reform without any GOP votes. If they want to go into November as the party of Wall Street bankers, more power to them."
"The only way to get reform done is to bring a few Republicans along."
"Please, God, yes. Can't we have one nonpartisan issue?"
"Republicans will oppose real reform, and we ought to call them on it!"
"The Republicans don't want reform: Screw 'em. Democrats should have learned from the health care drama that they can deliver without the Republicans."
"If Republicans ask the Banking Committee chair to soften the legislation any more than he already has, I say draw a line in the sand and take the issue to the voters in November and let the GOP defend the banks."
"It is a great contrast to the Republicans and their 'Party of No' mind-set."
"Look what cooperation did for us on health care reform."
"Keep the fox out of the henhouse."
REPUBLICANS (101 votes)Yes 71 percent No 23 percent Volunteered: Depends on reform, 3 percent; doesn't matter, 1 percent; not if it raises taxes, 1 percent; unclear, 1 percent. e>
"If Republicans stand with Wall Street, we'll get creamed for it."
"The Republican Party is still seen by many as protective of Wall Street wealth."
"We can agree with some basic principles that can yield a good bill. It will help rebut the 'Party of No' label."
"We have no choice on this one: After the last two years, anything that smells of retreat from reining in Wall Street will annoy our new 'tea party' base and swing voters."
"The optics of blocking Wall Street reform are different than health care reform."
"We must engage somewhere. And this issue is too important for sustained economic growth to leave to the Democrats alone."
"Wall Street supported Obama, and the concept of regulation is popular. We do not need to take a bullet for Wall Street."
"Better to fashion something than stay on the sidelines. Demonstrates we're willing to work for the common good."
"The Democrats desperately want to pick a high-profile fight with Republicans on this issue to recast their image of protecting Main Street over Wall Street."
"Republicans don't need to be the party that defends abuses on Wall Street."
"Even if the Democrats want to go further than Republicans are comfortable with, that is better than pandering to the villains who brought our economy to the brink of collapse."
"It's in the GOP's best interest to oppose everything Obama tries to do."
"Not while it is another industry takeover in disguise."
"The GOP should not be in the business of defining corporate-banking conduct. It plays into the hands of Democrats."
"The bill will hurt the markets, drive jobs overseas, and not fix the compensation issue that most voters care about. The GOP should vote no and blame the Democrats when the bill falls short of the rhetoric."
Q: On balance, do you think Obama will help or hurt Democrats in competitive races?
DEMOCRATS (101 votes)Help 74 percent Hurt 18 percent Volunteered: Obama won't be key factor, 3 percent; both, mixed, can't generalize, 3 percent; too soon to tell, 2 percent. e>
"Obama is viewed much more favorably than the Democrats in Congress."
"He energizes a base and raises money for Democrats in most swing districts."
"He will help in many more districts than he will hurt."
"As between the 'Party of No' versus the 'Party of Yes We Can,' voters will opt for the positive message."
"Based on the jobs numbers last month, he could help if that trend continues."
"He still is the one politician with the most star wattage out there."
"If we can improve the economic numbers and get more accomplished."
"He is still the most credible verifier that a change agenda is in the people's best interest. And he is starting to deliver."
"The president will be able to help motivate the base and is much more compelling when he is on the campaign trail than from the White House."
"The other side is already energized. No one energizes our side like Obama."
"Because there was such an overcorrection last cycle and we Democrats hold so many seats in Republican districts, there are few competitive districts in which Obama could possibly help."
"Races need to be about something else -- not a referendum on BHO's popularity."
"The competitive seats will be for the most part in districts where O is below 50 in job approval and thus hurts."
REPUBLICANS (101 votes)Help 21 percent Hurt 74 percent Volunteered: Helps with money, hurts electorally, 2 percent; both, 2 percent; depends on the race, 1 percent. e>
"He'll be able to raise a truckload of money. And you can buy House races with money."
"GOPers are already at a fever pitch. O can help get Democratic voters there."
"He's the president. Wherever he goes he'll help. They won't send him somewhere he won't."
"Obama is not helpful in McCain districts, where most of the targeted Democrats live. He is strong in urban districts, but they are not at risk."
"People are angry at the health care plan -- the way it was passed and the special deals. Having him around reminds folks of Washington."
"The competitive races are competitive because of Obama for the most part."
"Look no further than Virginia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts."
"The president has become a polarizing figure that will draw his opposition to the polling booths while independents remain skeptical."
"Loyal followers of 'The One' will already turn out for the Democrat."
"He'll do more to fire up Republicans than to fire up Democrats."
"Democrats in competitive elections will not want voters reminded of the failed stimulus bill, bailouts, cap-and-trade, and health care monstrosity."
"Obama's policies will hurt. His personal approval may be fine, but the 2009 elections showed that doesn't provide coattails."
"This will be an anti-incumbent year. And Obama embodies the establishment now."
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This article appears in the April 10, 2010 edition of National Journal Magazine.