According to a Quinnipiac poll released Friday, a majority of Americans believe that the Republican party bears responsibility for the gridlock that is paralyzing Washington, D.C.
The poll finds that 51 percent of voters say that there is gridlock because Republicans are determined to block any Obama administration initiative, while just 35 percent say that the blame lies with President Obama lacking the skills to convince congressional leaders to work together.
When asked which party bears the blame for Washington gridlock, 23 percent say Republicans, 10 percent say Democrats, and 64 percent say both parties deserve equal blame. Similarly, 68 percent of voters say that congressional Republicans are doing “too little” to compromise across the aisle, compared to 53 percent who say the same about President Obama.
Even within the Republican Party, voters are clearly frustrated with nonstop obstruction; the poll finds that 49 percent of Republicans think their party is doing too little to work with President Obama on important issues, with 14 percent saying that Republicans are doing too much, and 32 percent saying that the GOP’s level of compromise is “about right.” In other words, a plurality of Republicans want to see their own party re-commit to governing.
These results closely mirror the findings of a Democracy Corps battleground survey and focus groups, in which even red-state Republicans expressed a strong desire to see the GOP work with Democrats.
The Quinnipiac poll also finds that, due to the high level of gridlock in Washington, voters have very little confidence that Congress will pass comprehensive immigration reform. Although 54 percent of voters believe that undocumented immigrants should be allowed to stay in the country and eventually apply for U.S. citizenship — compared to 28 percent who say they should not be allowed to stay, and 12 percent who think they should stay with no path to citizenship — just 27 percent think that Republicans and Democrats in Congress will be able to work together to pass comprehensive reform. An overwhelming 69 percent of voters believe that Congress will fail.
Quinnipiac’s findings suggest that the American public would likely be receptive if Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and the Senate Democrats follow through on their threat to reform the filibuster in response to unprecedented Republican obstruction.
The poll also examined the upcoming 2014 congressional elections and the 2016 presidential election. Democrats lead Republicans on the generic congressional ballot by a 39 to 34 percent margin — not far off from the estimated 7.25 percent popular vote margin that would be required for Democrats to win a House majority. Voters disapprove of both congressional caucuses, although the Republicans are far less popular; 71 percent disapprove of the way Republicans in Congress are handling their job, while just 19 percent approve. By contrast, voters disapprove of congressional Democrats’ job performance by a 62 to 29 percent margin.
Quinnipiac’s glance at the 2016 presidential election finds that Hillary Clinton remains the extremely early frontrunner; the former Secretary of State holds a solid 55 to 38 percent approval rating, and leads the highest-polling Republican — Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey — by a 46 to 40 percent margin.
The poll surveyed 2,014 registered voters between June 28th and July 8th, and has a +/- 2.2 percent margin of error.
The full results of the Quinnipiac poll can be seen here.
Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr.com