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51% Say Politics in D.C. Will Become More Partisan


Partisan Politics  

At the State of the Union address, some Democrats and Republicans sat together to encourage more political civility, but when it comes to policy making, few voters are confident of much cooperation between the two parties.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that most Likely Voters (51%) expect politics in Washington, D.C. to become more partisan over the next year, but that's down from 54% last month and one of the lowest findings since June 2009.  Only 23% think politics will be more cooperative, while 26% are not sure.  (To see survey question wording, click here.) 

The Political Class is far more optimistic than Mainstream voters. Fifty-five percent (55%) of those in the Mainstream expect more partisanship, but 52% of Political Class disagree and expect more cooperation between the two parties.

Voters continue to see more partisanship in Congress than from the White House.

When it comes to President Obama, 32% of all voters think he is governing on a bipartisan basis.  Half (50%) say he's governing like a partisan Democrat, and another 18% are undecided.  These findings show little change since late March 2009.

Seventy-one percent (71%) of GOP voters and 45% of voters not affiliated with either political party feel the president is governing like a partisan Democrat, but a plurality of Democrats (46%) say he's governing in a bipartisan manner.

Obama's job approval ratings have been on the rise in the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll, and now voters show less negativity toward both his leadership abilities and style

Just over half (54%) of voters nationwide say congressional Republicans are acting like partisan Republicans, while 22% say they're acting on a bipartisan basis.  Twenty-three percent (23%) are not sure. 

Sixty percent (60%) believe that congressional Democrats are acting like partisan Democrats.  Twenty-one percent (21%) say they're acting on a bipartisan basis, and another 19% are undecided.

The number of voters who believe Democrats are acting like partisan Democrats has ranged from 58% to 67% since just after Obama's inauguration two years ago.  In that same time period, anywhere from 47% to 62% felt Republicans are acting in a partisan fashion.

Sixty-four percent (64%) of voters say it's at least somewhat likely the next president will be a Republican, including 38% who say it's Very Likely.  That's back to the level found before the midterm elections when the GOP regained control of the House and picked up several Senate seats. Only 20% say it's unlikely the next president will be from the GOP, with five percent (5%) who say it's Not At All Likely.  It is important to note that the question does not specify whether that next president will be elected in 2012 or 2016.

The number of American Adults identifying themselves as Republicans in January fell roughly a percentage-point-and-a-half from December to 35.4%.  Also in January, the number calling themselves Democrats inched up just over one point to 35.0%. Still, this is the third straight month that Rasmussen Reports polling has found more people identifying as Republicans than Democrats. Prior to November, that had never happened before.

Republicans hold a seven-point lead over Democrats on the Generic Congressional Ballot for the week ending January 30, 2011. 

Voters now trust the GOP more than Democrats on all 10 of the most important issues regularly surveyed by Rasmussen Reports including the economy, health care, taxes and national security.

There's a new Congress in town, but it still has a way to go to convince voters it's not more of the same. 

Despite talk from congressional Republicans and the president's State of the Union comments about debt reduction, most voters still think Congress is unlikely to make major spending cuts in the near future. 

Fifty percent (50%) of voters oppose the new spending proposals the president outlined in his State of the Union.

Most voters continue to favor repeal of the national health care law, but now that the Republican-run House has voted to repeal and sent it on to the Democratic-controlled Senate for action, confidence that the law ultimately will be repealed has fallen to its lowest level in four months. 

Rasmussen Reports is an electronic media company specializing in the collection, publication and distribution of public opinion polling information.  We poll on a variety of topics in the fields of politics, business and lifestyle, updating our site's content on a news cycle throughout the day, everyday.

Rasmussen Reports Platinum Members get an all-access pass to polling news, analysis and insight not available to the general public.

Scott Rasmussen , president of Rasmussen Reports, has been an independent pollster for more than a decade. To learn more about our methodology, click here.

The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters nationwide was conducted on January 27-28, 2010 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

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