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.

FILED UNDER: Public Opinion Polls, Quick Takes, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Mark Ivey says:

    “I don´t want no compromising in my car! No Commies either!”

    –From the upcoming GOP “road trip” movie in 2014

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The most common Republican attributes Americans cite for why they like the Republican Party are its “better fiscal management”

    Only in America can the party most responsible for blowing up the federal deficit be seen as having “better fiscal management”. What a joke we are.

  3. legion says:

    The problem with this situation is that:
    A) The GOP – both its base and its elected members – actually _is_ unwilling to compromise on any point at all, and
    B) Every singe GOP plan for the economy is both innumerate and suicidally destructive. But their base is too poorly educated to grasp even basic Macro 101, so they think it’s all great.

  4. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Makes sense.

    The Voting Rights Act. Title VII. The Reagan-Kennedy amnesty. Medicare Part D. COBRA. The ADA. HIPPA. NCLB. The proposed Bush immigration overhaul. Nixon’s EPA. Hell, not even three months ago the GOP gave up tax hikes on “the wealthy” in exchange for making the Bush tax cuts permanent for everyone else. No compromising whatsoever. Glug, glug, glug.

    Speaking of which, a while ago one of the professional polling companies, I forget which, did a survey about competing budget and tax proposals. But they surveyed first by issue and by details of the proposals, not by party designation. And of course the polling sample overwhelmingly supported the Republican plan over the Democrat plan. Then they identified the proposals by party designation. And then the roles instantly were reversed; Zombieland immediately rejected the GOP plan as soon as it found out which one bore the GOP label. Go figure.

    Obviously given the horrible demographics of the Internet’s chattering classes the key points will be missed. Simple is easy. GOP = bad, Democrat = good. Path of least resistance. OK, fair enough. But be careful for what you wish. The likes of Stockton, Newark, Detroit, Philly, Chicago and Baltimore, etc. are not “accidents.”

  5. rudderpedals says:

    Given its base inflexibility is a feature, not a bug

  6. legion says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    The Voting Rights Act. Title VII. The Reagan-Kennedy amnesty. Medicare Part D. COBRA. The ADA. HIPPA. NCLB. The proposed Bush immigration overhaul. Nixon’s EPA. Hell, not even three months ago the GOP gave up tax hikes on “the wealthy” in exchange for making the Bush tax cuts permanent for everyone else.

    First of all, the poll was specifically critiquing the GOP since the 2012 elections, Tsar – not since the 70s. Second, exactly _none_ of the things you mention are bad ideas – Republicans shouldn’t have “compromised” on them, they should have supported them. And finally, the Republicans didn’t “compromise” on the tax hikes, they were forced on them because literally everyone in the country not making $500k+ realized they were an absolute necessity.

  7. You ask people what they think about the Republicans and they parrot back Obama’s mantra that R’s won’t compromise. But when the focus shifts from vague generalities to issues, the masses understand that you can’t believe a word that comes out of the President’s mouth; the result is a standoff, which means, ironically, that most everything that is settled on actually is a compromise. Go figure.

  8. john personna says:

    @Let’s Be Free:

    I didn’t downvote you, but I will ask … if it is just “mantra” I’m sure you can name some stunning compromises put forward by the GOP?

  9. mantis says:

    @Let’s Be Free:

    Shorter LBF: All the sheep believe everything Obama says but they all know he’s a liar and don’t believe a word he says!

  10. @john personna:

    I didn’t downvote you, but I will ask … if it is just “mantra” I’m sure you can name some stunning compromises put forward by the GOP?

    Actually, the sequester was a compromise. Oh, I forgot that was Obama’s idea (which he lied about, of course). Please feel free to downvote me know.

  11. An Interested Party says:

    You ask people what they think about the Republicans and they parrot back Obama’s mantra that R’s won’t compromise.

    My goodness! Who knew that the President had the power to control minds!? Either that or you have that low of an opinion of the American people…

  12. Barry says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: “Only in America can the party most responsible for blowing up the federal deficit be seen as having “better fiscal management”. What a joke we are. ”

    That’s unfair! Eisenhower had very good fiscal management skills.

    And he was the last GOP president, right?

  13. Barry says:

    @Tsar Nicholas: “Speaking of which, a while ago one of the professional polling companies, I forget which, did a survey about competing budget and tax proposals. But they surveyed first by issue and by details of the proposals, not by party designation.”

    Bull f-ing sh8t. Ask the American people about increasing taxes on the rich, and they’ll support them. Tell them about the true distribution of income and they’ll support it even more.

  14. anjin-san says:

    the masses understand that you can’t believe a word that comes out of the President’s mouth

    That would explain the President’s landslide victory last November…

  15. john personna says:

    @Let’s Be Free:

    I don’t think you recall correctly, the sequester was a stick to insure compromise, but we got the stick.