Poll: Americans want compromise, not loyalty, in Congress

  • Most Americans want lawmakers to compromise to pass bipartisan legislation
  • A new poll found 70% of people think the US is on the wrong track
  • About 50% of people would consider voting for a 3rd party candidate 

(NewsNation) — The majority of Democrats and Republicans want federal lawmakers to work together on legislation, but most doubt Congress will be able to do that over the next two years, according to the latest NewsNation/Decision Desk HQ poll released Tuesday.

Three-quarters of Americans say members of Congress should be willing to compromise and prioritize bipartisan legislation over standing with their party, including 84% of Democrats and 71% of Republicans.

The survey of 1,000 registered voters was conducted May 25 and 26, just days before President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy reached a debt ceiling deal.

Respondents’ overwhelming call for compromise suggests most people are in favor of the recent cooperation.

As to whether either side benefitted politically from the negotiations, Decision Desk HQ’s Scott Tranter is skeptical.

“I think the American public isn’t going to give the president, Congress — Democrat or Republican — any credit on (the debt limit deal) because they think it should be done,” said Tranter, director of data science at DDHQ.

Based on the poll’s findings, that skepticism may be warranted. Almost 75% of respondents said they’re not confident that lawmakers on Capitol Hill will be able to work together to pass legislation over the next two years.

Those results come from a group of registered voters who identify as more moderate than high-profile partisan showdowns often suggest. About three-quarters of those surveyed described themselves as either moderate, somewhat conservative, or somewhat liberal.

When it comes to where the country is headed, Americans are pessimistic. About 70% of those surveyed said the country is on the “wrong track,” compared to just 18% who believe the U.S. is on the “right track.”

That negativity was consistent across the political spectrum. Most Democrats (56%), independents (70%) and Republicans (86%) think America is on the wrong track.

About 47% of people in the latest poll approve of the way Biden is handling his job — whereas 53% disapprove.

That’s a slight improvement for the president compared to this time last year, when 42% approved of Biden as inflation surged to historic highs.

It remains to be seen how attitudes will change over the next year, but Tuesday’s poll shows many Americans are open to a third-party candidate in 2024.

About half of those surveyed said they would consider voting for someone other than former President Donald Trump or Biden if they’re the nominees.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders received the most support (21%) out of a list of possible third-party candidates that also included former Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney (10%) and West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin (7%), among others. A plurality of respondents (43%) said they wanted “someone else” who wasn’t listed.

Voters remain almost evenly split when it comes to which party they would support if the election were held today. About 43% would back the Republican candidate for Congress and 42% would vote for the Democrat.


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