Poll: Democrats Acting More Partisan than Republicans

Sunday, 06 Jun 2010 08:00 PM

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The level of partisan politics in Washington, D.C. continues to be business as usual as far as most U.S. voters are concerned.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 61 percent of Likely Voters expect politics in the Nation’s Capital to be more partisan over the next year. That’s down slightly from February and March when tempers were running high over the national health care bill but 21 points higher than just after President Obama took office in January 2009.

Only 19 percent now think there will be more cooperation in Washington, compared to 40 percent in late January of last year. Twenty percent (20 percent) are not sure.

Twenty-eight percent (28 percent) believe the president is governing in a bipartisan way, down 14 points from just after his Inauguration. Fifty-two percent (52 percent) say Obama is governing like a partisan Democrat, a view that has held steady since last June. Twenty percent (20 percent) more are undecided.

Voters again this month think Democrats in Congress are acting in a more partisan fashion than Republican legislators. Just 19 percent say congressional Democrats are acting in a bipartisan fashion, while 61 percent say they are acting like partisan Democrats. Twenty-one percent (21 percent) aren’t sure.

By comparison, 20 percent say Republicans in Congress are functioning in a bipartisan way, but 52 percent say they’re acting like partisan Republicans. Twenty-eight percent (28 percent) are not sure.

The survey of 1,000 Likely U.S. Voters was conducted on June 1-2, 2010 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95 percent level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

At the end of April, voters for the only time in over a year of regular polling said Republicans in Congress were acting more partisan than congressional Democrats.

Among voters not affiliated with either major party, 54 percent say congressional Republicans are acting in a partisan manner, and 62 percent say the same of Democrats in Congress.

Sixty-four percent (64 percent) of all voters say it is at least somewhat likely that the next president will be a Republican, with 40 percent who say it is Very Likely. Twenty-two percent (22 percent) say it’s not very or not at all likely. This marks the lowest level of skepticism to date, but the number who think a GOP president is likely is roughly consistent with findings since the first of the year.

It’s important to note that the question does not say whether this president will be elected in 2012 or 2016.

Updated job approval ratings for the president are available in the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll. For a look at longer-term trends, see our month-by-month review of the data.

In May, the number of adults identifying themselves as Democrats fell nearly one percentage point to tie the lowest level on record, while the number of Republicans and those not affiliated with either party rose by less than half a percentage point.

For the week ending Sunday, May 30, Republican candidates held a seven-point lead over Democrats on the Generic Congressional Ballot, broadly consistent with weekly results from the past year.

Sixty percent (60 percent) of all voters now favor repeal of the national health care bill.

Forty-six percent (46 percent) say the Tea Party movement, a loose knit group of Americans nationwide who reject both parties to protest big government and high taxes, is good for the country. Thirty-one percent (31 percent) disagree and say it’s bad for the country. Another 13 percent say it’s neither.

Thirty-five percent (35 percent) of voters think Republicans and Democrats are so much alike that an entirely new political party is needed to represent the American people. Nearly half (47 percent) of voters disagree and say a new party is not needed.

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