Republicans Seen As Unwilling To Compromise
A new Gallup poll finds that the top critique of the GOP is it’s unwillingness to compromise:
As Republican leaders openly scrutinize their party after a 2012 election that was disappointing for them, rank-and-file Republicans, independents, and Democrats voice the same primary criticism of the GOP: it is “too inflexible” or “unwilling to compromise.” When asked to say what they most dislike about the Republican Party, 26% of Republicans, 17% of independents, and 22% of Democrats offer this critique — leading all other mentions.
Among Republicans, the criticism that their party is too rigid in its approach is partially offset by the views of a sizable minority, 14%, who say the Republican Party gives in too easily or doesn’t stand up for its positions. Relatedly, 6% say the party is dishonest or inconsistent in its positions.
Seven percent of Republicans mention that they dislike their party’s choice of candidates and/or leaders, echoing a public critique of the GOP recently advanced by Karl Rove, former political adviser to George W. Bush.
Essentially, then, Republicans are much more likely to criticize their own party for its style or approach than for its substance.
In terms of policy positions, the top criticism Republicans level at the GOP is that it supports too much government spending that increased the budget deficit, named by 4%. The top knock on Republicans by Democrats (20%) and independents (10%) is what they call the Republicans’ focus on the rich or protecting the wealthy at the expense of the middle class.
Other issue-based critiques of the GOP named by at least 3% of Democrats include its positions on social issues (8%), abortion (6%), immigration (4%), favoring big business (4%), and gay marriage (3%). An additional 4% cite the influence of religion on the party and 3% say it is too conservative. By contrast, in addition to spending, the only policy-oriented criticism that as many as 3% of Republicans level at their own party is its broad position on social issues (3%).
On the positive side, though, the GOP does get some points for its positions on fiscal issues:
The most common Republican attributes Americans cite for why they like the Republican Party are its “better fiscal management” or budget cuts and, broadly, its conservative views. Each is mentioned by 20% of Republicans. These are also the top GOP attributes independents and Democrats say they like, although by much smaller percentages than among Republicans. Sixty percent of Democrats and 36% of independents say there is nothing they like about the Republican Party.
Additionally, Republicans commend the Republican Party for its positions on a variety of specific issues, including its morals/ethics (9%), its support for smaller government (8%), and its stances on taxes (6%), abortion (6%), guns (6%), economic policies (4%), healthcare (3%), and the military (3%).
It’s worth noting that the positive attributes get far less support than the negative attributes do, which isn’t surprising since the overall public attitude toward the GOP continues to be negative.