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Americans Still Give GOP Mixed Marks Despite Big Gains in the Midterms

3 years ago
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While the Republicans gave the Democrats what President Obama acknowledged was a "shellacking" in the midterm elections, Americans favor Obama slightly more on whom they trust to cope with the main problems facing the nation and are split on the question of whether the White House or congressional Republicans are playing a stronger leadership role in the aftermath of the elections, according to a Washington Post/ABC News poll conducted Dec. 9-12. (Story; Poll data)

Forty-three percent say they trust Obama more than the Republicans to "do a better job coping with the main problems the nation faces over the next few years," while 38 percent put their faith in the Republicans. Twelve percent trust neither, 2 percent say they trust both and 4 percent are undecided. The margin of error is 3.5 points.

Forty-three percent say Obama is "taking a stronger leadership role in the government in Washington these days," and 42 percent believe it is the Republicans, with 3 percent answering "both," 8 percent saying neither, and 4 percent undecided.

CongressAs far as the shift of control of the House from the Democrats to the GOP, 41 percent regard it as a good thing, 27 percent say it is a bad thing and 30 percent don't think it makes any difference. Three percent were undecided.

Those surveyed appear to see Obama as the more reasonable player in Washington when it comes to willingness to compromise on important issues. Forty-five percent say Obama's willingness to compromise is "about the right amount," while 40 percent say it is too little, 11 percent deem it as too much, with 4 percent undecided. Fifty-four percent say Republicans are doing too little to compromise compared to 32 percent who feel it is the right amount, with 8 percent saying "too much" and 7 percent undecided.

Just as the public splits on the question of whether Obama or congressional Republicans are taking the stronger leadership role, Americans are divided on whom they trust to do a better job handling what just about every poll says is the major issue in the country -- the economy. Forty-five percent trust the GOP more, compared to 44 percent who prefer Obama, with 2 percent saying they trust both, 7 percent trusting neither and 2 percent undecided. Forty-four percent trust the Republicans more on taxes, compared to 43 percent who are more confident in Obama, with the rest undecided or answering "both" or "neither."

However, when it comes to the issue of the federal deficit, Americans trust the Republicans over Obama by a 47 percent to 39 percent margin. And, on helping the middle class, Obama prevails over the Republicans as far as trust on the issue by 53 percent to 38 percent. In both cases, the remainder are undecided or answered "both" or "neither."

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14 Comments

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Joy

The American public has lost its' collective mind. They said the country was headed in the wrong direction before the mid terms and elected a bunch of repukes to the House. And now after the election, John Q. Public is still saying the country is headed in the wrong direction. Well if it is, at least we know who to blame!!

December 16 2010 at 9:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
cleonecon

We need to have better choices in elections ... these people do not represent us ... even the tea partiers ... especially the tea partiers...is there no one that wants to pull the country together and make it work? the republicans are so intent on shifting the blame and the democrats are just flailing around! It is sad to see our great country lead by these people ... they need to put the country ahead of their political futures... any possibility? Clearly not...

December 16 2010 at 1:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
pgbrooke

So much for the Republican's so called "mandate".

December 15 2010 at 1:16 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
msmichlee

The problem is that the media and the republicans fail to hear the message. The republicans like to pretend it is support for their agenda. The media takes what ever negative side they can find. In reality what the american people are saying is that we want legistrator working for the will of the people, not their wealthy campaigning supporters, such as the chamber, wall street, big banks. Americans want people working together on the difficult issues. The problem with that is as long as we have a 2 party system it is difficult for either side to cross the isle in getting things done. I believe it is the republican party that has declared war on the democratics and the president and people where trying to replace those that where responsible. You will see in 2012 that the republicans will lose what they gained if they fail to listen to the MAJORITY of the people and work through our countries problems. Just watching how things are going so far I predict the republicans holding the house for the shortest time in history. When you start adding to the deficit to give gifts to your friends people that have had to pay for their mismangement will be very upset. When you come for social security with no plan of cutting defense spending people are going to be very upset. I am just saying don't expect much out of this present republican party they have been bought by the rich.

December 14 2010 at 9:20 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to msmichlee's comment
pnanos

the debt the dems have added to Bushes was more than has been added since the country began. It will take decades to pay down.

December 15 2010 at 10:20 AM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply
FRED

Not bad when you consider Americans give the dems a failing grade in everything they tried to do to this nation.

December 14 2010 at 8:23 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to FRED's comment
bronxboy

like what? oh yeah taxing the rich more. I think Republicans are very good at playing politics. For example, they wouldn't even pass the 9/11 health care bill until the millionaires and billionaires get tax cuts.

December 15 2010 at 10:16 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Kenneth

This is a stupid question since the results of the November election have not even taken office yet. It would be like asking how they thought Obama was doing during this same time in 2008 when he was not sworn in until January. It is impossible to gauge the job anyone will do until that start.

December 14 2010 at 7:39 PM Report abuse +11 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Kenneth's comment
cjfandtjs

I had the same thoughts reading this stupid opinion. Why poll before anything has actually changed?

December 15 2010 at 9:40 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
ktonyjames

I find it hard to believe that Americans favor the Republicans by 47% to 39% over Obama. After all, the Republicans and Bush brought us into this hugh deficit by spending and financing two wars without paying for them. The above mentioned polls are just trying to re-write history. I can understand Bush wanted to be popular and avoid a depression; well, he was the best fund-raiser the Republicans ever had but dropping federal interest rates to extreme lows didn't help then and won't help in the future. If China would cash in their bonds, we'd really be in a fix. Japan's been stagnant 10 years and it will be the same for us. Bad economics!

December 14 2010 at 7:36 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to ktonyjames's comment
elfersdon

They won't cash in their bonds. They cant.
Think about why they cant.

December 15 2010 at 12:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
tplapper

I'm a proud member (12%) that trusts neither party. Folks, don't forget those Third Party candidates.

December 14 2010 at 5:58 PM Report abuse +9 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to tplapper's comment
Charlie

Third party candidates... let's see... there's Joe Lieberman... Bernie Sanders... um... the write-in Alaskan...

December 15 2010 at 8:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bronxboy

I wanted some to win but they never do

December 15 2010 at 10:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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