A PROGRESSIVE VOICE FROM THE LLANO ESTACADO

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Public Still Blames GOP For Gridlock


For the last couple of days, I have been discussing some of the results from the latest Quinnipiac University Poll (conducted between June 28th and July 8th of a nationwide sample of 2,014 registered voters -- with a margin of error of 2.2 points). The above charts show the poll was released on July 1st, but that is my error in making the charts -- it was really released on July 11th.

Today, I want to discuss the gridlock in Washington. It has become obvious that Washington can't pass any laws (except maybe for the naming of a courthouse). The 112th Congress earned the nickname as the "do-nothing" Congress for its inability to pass any laws -- at least any laws that would help the economy and most citizens. Now the 113th Congress is on track to have an even worse record.

Who is responsible for this gridlock? I believe it is the Republican Party, which has refused to compromise on any issue for the good of the country (or even to consider a compromise). This poll shows that most Americans agree -- the congressional Republicans are to blame. About 51% of the public agrees with this, while only 35% blame the president. Note that when the poll is broken down into demographic groups, only one group blames the president more than congressional Republicans -- Republican voters. All other groups say the congressional Republicans are significantly more to blame than the president.

Voters are not really happy with anyone in Washington, and that is understandable since nothing is being accomplished (and most Americans are still mired in the effects of the Great Recession). But the Republicans are playing with fire by refusing to compromise, because most voters blame them for the gridlock. Will this affect the 2014 election? I hope so.

And because of this gridlock, the public seems to have given up on Congress passing any reasonable immigration reform this year. About 69% of voters say immigration reform will not be passed, while only 27% think it is still a possibility -- and that feeling includes voters of all political persuasions. About 73% of Republicans, 71% of Independents, and 60% of Democrats believe immigration reform will die in the House of Representatives.

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Another interesting part of that poll regarded the outlook for the 2016 presidential election. As previous polls have shown, any Republican (even Chris Christie, the most popular Republican with the general public) would have a very difficult time beating Hillary Clinton. But if Clinton stays out of the race (perish the thought!), another Democrat (Biden or someone else) would be in a tight race to win the White House.




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