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Poll: GOPers want their leaders to be more conservative, less cooperative

By Greg Sargent

Some interesting findings buried in the new Pew poll suggest Republicans and Democrats have starkly different expectations of their leaders: Republicans want their leaders to be less moderate and less compromising, while Dems want precisely the opposite.

I'm not kidding. The poll finds that 60 percent of Republicans and GOP leaners want their leaders to move in a more "conservative direction," versus only 35 percent who want them to be "more moderate." By contrast, only 33 percent of Dems and Dem leaners want their leaders to be "more liberal," versus 57 percent who want them to be "more moderate."

Meanwhile, a big majority of Republicans, 66 percent, want their leaders to "stand up to Obama," versus only 29 percent who want them to work with him. But Dems, by contrast, are divided on this point, with fewer saying Obama should stand up to GOP leaders (43 percent) than say he should work with them (46 percent).

Maybe this just reflects Dem demoralization in the wake of last week's shellacking. But whatever the cause, GOP leaders know they have no reason to blink in the coming showdowns. Rank and file Republicans want their leaders to eschew moderation and to refrain from backing down, while Dems want their leaders to do just the opposite.

The differences are really quite remarkable, and suggest the possibility that the political center of gravity will shift more dramatically than we expect next year.

By Greg Sargent  | November 11, 2010; 2:40 PM ET
Categories:  Senate Republicans, Supreme Court  
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Comments

The Republicans know how to fight a war, they are not afraid of class war, Democrats are afraid of shadows.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 11, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

I can imagine a rather different reason for the disparity Mr Sargent notes.

Isn't it possible, Mr Sargent that there are more conservatives in American than liberals? Wouldn't that also explain the differences in polling?

Posted by: skipsailing28 | November 11, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

skipsailing, even if that were true, it wouldn't explain these numbers.

this poll surveyed self described Dems and self described Republicans to get those results within each group.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | November 11, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

The poll was done by the right-wing machine. They love the "tough-right" and "spineless left" theme. In contrast, Democrats want the "corporatists" Democrats to get a spine and stop trying to "make nice". The left does not have the media machine or the ability to get out its message in contrast to FOX, the msm and the endless "think tanks". After two years of unnecessary gridlock and austerity, Obama will get another four years.

Posted by: LillithMc | November 11, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Greg, is someone writing a book about the enervation of Barak Obama? It seemed like he was a fighter, surely a survivor, he seemed principled, if not hard core. Now he's like Will o' the wisp. People punch him and their hand comes out the other side. He isn't injured, he is there but he isn't there.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 11, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

This poll doesn't surprise me in the least. Republicans want their leaders to stop the liberal agenda pushed by Pelosi and Reid (and sustained by Obama) and Dems want their elected officials to be more moderate. I'm not sure I understand what is supposed to be so startling here?

Posted by: sbj3 | November 11, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Or it could simply mean that in a political game played between the 40 yard lines, the current administration and democratic party are sitting on the 30.

Posted by: sold2u | November 11, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

OT:

-Poll Finds Majority Of Male Voters Would Have Elected Naked Woman-

The online survey found that regardless of political philosophy or party affiliation, 85 percent of American men in every ethnic, age, and socioeconomic group consistently chose a completely nude woman over a Democratic, Republican, or independent candidate.

http://www.theonion.com/articles/poll-finds-majority-of-male-voters-would-have-elec,18436/

(NSFW, I found out the hard way, damn, no pun intended)

Did I mention that I love the Onion?

Posted by: Ethan2010 | November 11, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

I have a question for the righties -- what exactly about the Affordable Care Act do you find so liberal ... so monstrous?

What has the 111th Congress actually enacted that is so horrendous .. so unAmerican?

Posted by: pragmaticagain | November 11, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Wow, even by the low, low standards by which we judge the comedy stylings of skipsailing28, his post at 3:13 was really, really, REALLY DUMB.

Posted by: Observer691 | November 11, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

With all the troubling warning signals for Republicans in these polls (e.g., Democrats more popular, average enthusiasm for GOP '10 vs. '94, Dem '06) I think you could find better morsels from these polls to highlight rather than trying to prove (not very persuasively, I might add, when you have a contra CBS poll below) that GOP wanting no compromise (in this poll) will empower and result in an even more dramatic power shift in the center of gravity.

This is going to STRENGTHEN the GOP even more?

Puhlease...

The GOP can fire up their base all they want. But if they rule as hard conservatives there is not a big enough pool to keep them in power. Bottom line. And they are starting with very little political capital.

Posted by: luke7474 | November 11, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

@prag: "What has the 111th Congress actually enacted that is so horrendous .. so unAmerican?"

May I?

1) Stealing Freedums!!111!!elevenexclamationpoint

2) Democratic *ahemblack* President

3) All those things we made up

4) He tried to kill ma Pappy

5) Derrr, I'm angry!

That is all.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | November 11, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans hate the Affordable Care Act because we won and they lost. Because it's "liberal" in their eyes. They rather be insurance-less than root for the other team.

Repeal isn't happening (as Grassley sais)

1) Will not pass committee in Senate
2) Even if it did, would not get 60 votes)
3) Even if it did, will be vetoed

And the AP/GFK poll today has repeal very unpopular. Repeal is the hay the Repubs feed their sheeples to get them all excited.

Prepare to be very disappointed...

Posted by: luke7474 | November 11, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

SKIPSAILING 28. You have your math wrong. If you take the other side of the poll meaning that 35% of Republicans want to work with the other side with 46% of Deocrats wanting to do the same thing and throw in the independents like myself,that would translate to majority of Americans wanting the parties to work together for the good of the country. The poll would also indicate that majoriy of Americans are moderate (centrist) in ideology rather than consrvative of liberal.
independentvoter77

Posted by: independentvoter77 | November 11, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

SKIPSAILING 28. You have your math wrong. If you take the other side of the poll meaning that 35% of Republicans want to work with the other side with 46% of Deocrats wanting to do the same thing and throw in the independents like myself,that would translate to majority of Americans wanting the parties to work together for the good of the country. The poll would also indicate that majoriy of Americans are moderate (centrist) in ideology rather than consrvative of liberal.
independentvoter77

Posted by: independentvoter77 | November 11, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

@luke7474: "Repeal is the hay the Repubs feed their sheeples to get them all excited."

I'm on several neocon/TP email lists (run by establishment GOPers of course)...

And they've already switched language from 'repeal' to 'defund'. Seamlessly. These guys are absolute pros at deceiving conservative voters, sadly.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | November 11, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

celested91 2:42 PM

Dragging down the economy is not "governing for the good of all."

Posted by: OrangeForces | November 11, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

TO: shrink2 who wrote:
The Republicans know how to fight a war, they are not afraid of class war,
Democrats are afraid of shadows.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^

What an ignorant thing to say.

The whole world knows how Republicans fight wars, you pick which country you want to rob and then you send in our military to kill and be killed so that Republicans can rob America of her spoils of war.

I saw some of the tragic victims of Republican lies on TV last night, our wounded warriors.

As for what you said about Dems, it’s stupid to assume that our entire military is made up of nothing but Republicans.

Bigot.


Posted by: lindalovejones | November 11, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Greg

What is going on with this blog?

Don't you see some inconsistencies in this posting and the previous one?

On one hand you are saying the People don't want compromise, and they don't know what they are talking about.

On the other hand, you are blaming the Republicans for not wanting to compromise.


Are you trying to say compromise is good or bad???


OR are you just trying to make the point that "compromise" is good, ONLY as long as liberals get to deceive everyone and push through a liberal agenda in the end.


Compromise is NOT "fooling a bunch of centrists to vote democratic - and then switching the agenda to the far left."


This is getting to be ridiculous and it is not making sense anymore.


The problem is Obama is making irrational decisions, and Obama is taking irrational postions which are not supported by the facts - you are trying to make some sense of it all, and the result is this circular logic here.


.

Posted by: OrangeForces | November 11, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

I think what the American People DON'T want is, they DON'T want Mitch McConnell planning to spend 12.6 BILLION DOLLARS on pork barrel earmarks.

You've got your brand new Tea Baggers entering office saying No More Spending, and you've got your old time Republican Warlords trying to Spend 12.6 Billion American Taxpayer Dollars.

As for "cooperation", in the past 2 years Republicans haven't "cooperated" at all with the White House, so that point is moot.

Posted by: lindalovejones | November 11, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

It is common knowledge that there is a wing within the Republican party that is not happy with the moderate Republicans.


For years, the moderates have gotten elected, and failed to control spending.

The conservatives say, what is the use of helping this guy get elected if he is going to be free spending once in????


THAT is the compromise that conservatives oppose.

Without understand that fundamental reality within the Republican party today, these polls numbers can not be fully understood.

Posted by: OrangeForces | November 11, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Lindalovejones is one more example of Voters Without A Clue.

Earmarks do NOT add to spending. The budget gets set, and then congresscritters get to choose to send funds that are already going to be spent to specific projects.

Without earmarks, the federal department receiving the funds through the budget gets to make all the decisions.

I guess you like that better, right Linda?

Posted by: suekzoo1 | November 11, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

lindalovejones, first, you are a good person. I think we agree on some things.

See the topic, I was saying Democrats need to get thick skin and a tolerance for bloodshed defending what is right unless they don't really care. I am saying Democrats do may know what they are up against. This is in fact about life and death, not a tolerance contest. Democrats have to take their political positions seriously, as if it matters. Sincerely, S2

Posted by: shrink2 | November 11, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

LindaLoveJones

How can Obama and the democrats claim that McConnell is not cooperating, if Obama didn't even have him over for a meeting in Obama's first 18 months ???


I'm not sure whether to classify your comment as a deception or a lie.

What do you think?

Posted by: OrangeForces | November 11, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

interesting point independantvoter77. I don't argue with your conclusion at all.

I'd love for the parties to work together for the good of the country. Who would oppose that? The challenge is defining "good"

I was simply seeking a different explanation for Mr Sargent's dilemma.

Here's gallup with some polling data:
"In 2009, 40% percent of respondents in Gallup surveys that have interviewed more than 160,000 Americans have said that they are either “conservative” (31%) or “very conservative” (9%). That is the highest percentage in any year since 2004.

Only 21% have told Gallup they are liberal, including 16% who say they are “liberal” and 5% who say they are “very liberal.”"

I found this data here:
http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/52602

I've never encountered the commenter known as observer691, but being ignorant and rude is no way to go through life son (child?)

Posted by: skipsailing28 | November 11, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

shrink2 @ November 11, 2010 3:04 PM wrote "The Republicans know how to fight a war, they are not afraid of class war,"

I take exception to that: The Republicans know how to fight a class war; agreed!

But the last time the Republicans fought a real war, think Iraq, we lost.

Posted by: AMviennaVA | November 11, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Wasn't there some kind of meeting ... oh yeah ... I remember ... the President met with the leaders of Congress ... that meeting where Cantor brought a bunch of props and the President asked them all to be at least a little bit honest and discuss the issue in good faith and Ryan tried to act like he knew what he was talking about... McConnell found the time to attend that meeting didn't he?

That meeting was very productive as I recall ...

Posted by: pragmaticagain | November 11, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

pragmaticagain at 3:38 PM


The right believes Obama's health care plan is too expensive, and they do not want the Federal government expanding any further. That doesn't mean dismantle other programs, it means NO MORE.


Second, health care is not within the scope of "interstate commerce"

Third, health care has been traditionally for 200 years, been handled by the States. If you want solutions, those solutions should be implemented on the State level.


Obama's plan is NOT paid for, it is a deficit ticking time-bomb.

Aside from that, the whole thing is unAmerican and horrible.


.

Posted by: OrangeForces | November 11, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

"what exactly about the Affordable Care Act do you find so liberal ... so monstrous?"

Briefly, and I apologize that I can't stay to discuss further (I enjoyed the back and forth yesterday on Wickard) ... I dislike the ACA because it moves health insurance in the direction of a positive right. That's my fundamental problem with it. That, and it seems to put the focus on health insurance, rather than health care. Very different things.

Again, apologizes for posting and running.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | November 11, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Gotta love the teabaggers:

If nothing else I think it's a sign of how far we've come as a nation that a middle-aged Jewish woman and an African-American man can participate in paramilitary-leaning right-wing ravanchist politics on a equal footing with white people.

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2010/11/breaking_down_the_barriers.php?ref=fpblg

Posted by: pragmaticagain | November 11, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

"But the last time the Republicans fought a real war, think Iraq, we lost."

On this day I was trying to be gracious, but I can't argue that.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 11, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

pragmaticagain at 4:30 PM


Obama did not go to that meeting ready to compromise

Obama said, if you have a few ideas, he will think about them - and then throw them into a 2,000 page bill.


Obama talked most of the time. He wasn't listening.


There was certainly no discussion of a compromise in the MIDDLE


I watched the whole thing - it was one of Obama's most disgraceful and shameful days.

Posted by: OrangeForces | November 11, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Can anyone from the right answer the question with something other than nonsense?

What is it about the Affordable Care Act that is so liberal ... so monstrous?

Posted by: pragmaticagain | November 11, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

All, Happy Hour Roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/11/happy_hour_roundup_127.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | November 11, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Obama and Democrats; stand up and grow a pair. You have the presidency and a Senate majority. Enact bold Job creating ideas and stop bending over to the GOP. Compromise on taxes, drilling and nuclear power only made the GOP and FAUX news attack you even more whey they bent over themselves apologizing to BP. Stop compromising and end the farce. The GOP wants nothing more than high unemployment in order to boost their political and financial fortunes. Stop their Goose-stepping on American job growth in favor of Tax cuts for Billionaires. Stop the attacks on Social Security benefits for the middle class and poor so Billionaires can shield all income above $107k from contributing.

Bending over for, and kowtowing to the GOP is why less voters went to the polls. Fighting for the Rich at the expense of the middle class and poor betrays their trust in you and other Democrats who do the same. If you support tax cuts for the rich and cuts in Social Security benefits the middle class and poor will not bother to vote and canvass. Look at the facts: most young voters didn’t even bother to vote this election cycle. They are too busy looking for jobs that don’t exist because the wealthiest are paying little to nothing in taxes, which would otherwise be invested in job creation.

Posted by: Airborne82 | November 11, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

As for the so called Obamacare which should be called Romneycare:

Mitt Romney's political missteps

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/05/AR2010110507353.html

“Mr. Romney ought to claim trademark infringement over the term "Obamacare." It's really "Romneycare," and it's largely been a success in Massachusetts, where 94 percent of people now have health insurance. Mitt Romney spearheaded universal health coverage in our state. It combined continued reliance on private insurance companies, a government "exchange" to assist consumers in finding the best policy, subsidies to help those who could not otherwise afford coverage and, above all, an "individual mandate" requiring everyone to have health insurance or pay a fee.”

Posted by: Airborne82 | November 11, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Reduce everyone’s Social Security tax from current 6.2% to 4% by expanding income contribution to all Millionaires and Billionaires income. The GOP wants to shield Billionaires from contributing by cutting Social Security for the elderly.

The GOP and tea (oil & coal) party have begun their attacks on social security with plans to harm the elderly, by raising the age and reducing the benefits, instead of having the Rich contribute more. Stop working to shield the Rich at the expense of the middle-class and poor. Benefits for the elderly should not be reduced in any way to protect the incomes of the wealthy. Social security benefits should be increased and all income, not just the first $107k, modestly taxed to support it. Tax all income, but lower everyone’s tax from current 6.2% to 4%.

Raise the Social Security Tax to include all income and not just up to your first $107k. As more people have gotten wealthy, wealth has been shielded from the Social Security Tax as it has not kept up with inflation.

http://politics.usnews.com/opinion/articles/2010/09/20/cutting-benefits-isnt-the-way-to-save-social-security.html

“Cutting Benefits Isn't the Way to Save Social Security: The answer isn't raising the retirement age; it's making the rich pay a fair share. Most people don't know that someone making $300,000 or even $30 million a year pays no more in Social Security taxes than someone earning roughly $107,000. In 1983, 90 percent of wage and salary income was taxed, but today it's less than 84 percent. That's a huge windfall for the rich and a serious shortfall for Social Security.”

Posted by: Airborne82 | November 11, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

And yet, blink they must.

Okay, here's the deal: Both sides get a temporary extension of the Bush tax cuts for at least two years if the Republicans agree to reauthorize UI benefits for the same length of time.

By that time, unemployment levels should be down below the 7.5% benchmark, experts agree, reflecting a recovered economy, allowing the Bush tax cuts to quietly expire for everyone.

Now if our Republicans friends, along with their Tea Party allies, can limit government spending to 2008 levels, the country's deficit could be well on its way downward by 2020.

If the Republicans refuse the deal, Obama should do nothing but sit back and watch the Republicans Hooverize not only the 15 million strong unemployed but the entire middle class as well for the next two years.

ex animo
davidfarrar

Posted by: davidfarrar1 | November 11, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse


refrain {websters): to keep oneself from doing, feeling, or indulging in something and especially from following a passing impulse.

"But whatever the cause, GOP leaders know they have no reason to refrain from blinking in the coming showdowns."

You do realize that you said that the republicans have no reason to not blink, right?

Posted by: deadmanwalking | November 11, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

For some reason, I misread that, reading "they have no reason not to refrain from blinking"

My bad - I am putting on the pointyhat!

Posted by: deadmanwalking | November 11, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Of course, with the new "GOP FUHRER" John Boehner, there are going to be a all lot of Fights.

Posted by: lkasina | November 11, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

The GOP will continue with its past plan, obstruct, block, misrepresent, and insure nothing get done, just as was announced following Obama's election. It got them this far, so why should they change paths? Look at the GOP leadership's announced "most important issue", that of insuring Obama does not get reelected, not jobs, economy, balance of trade, ending two wars, illegal aliens. This is pathetic, and this is what the Party of now is bringing to the table.
I would prefer moderation, however, in the case of extending tax cuts to the very wealthy, I would rather there be no further tax cuts, and not compromising with the GOP, should they insist that it is an all or nothing matter. Let the people know it is the GOP blocking their tax cuts, not the President, as the GOP's concern is only for its richest donors, not the general population. Let the taxes go up, work towards balancing the budget, and I guess the top 2% will need to put off buying the new Mercedes for another few months. Tax cuts don't create jobs, or we would be seeing new hiring all over, as corporations are making more money now, but banking it, or buying back stock.
Not to worry, the GOP would rather shut down the government as it did during the Clinton years, than compromise with Obama on anything. Just watch it unfold.

Posted by: atc333 | November 11, 2010 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Boehner - Where are the Jobs? You guys told us in 2001 that with the tax cuts for the rich there would be jobs? It's been 9+ years now... Where are the Jobs? You must be proud that you have such idiots following you blindly, with amnesia no less. What a deal for you rich cats and your friends! Now get to work and cut that poor old couple's social security and medicare, your rich friends need more money. And be sure to add in another war in there "to boost the economy" if you can get away with it. People have forgotten we are in two, so why not make it 3 or 4!!

Posted by: Sherry91 | November 11, 2010 10:25 PM | Report abuse

When the GOP's first job is to saddle the American people with $700 billion dollars more deficit by giving tax cuts to everybody who makes over $250,000 a year at the expense of working men and women, retirees, and even the working poor, they better damn well blink!
No corporate socialism. Make them pay their fair share of taxes for once.

Posted by: blosmurph | November 11, 2010 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Greg,

After the 2008 election, how often did you write commentaries urging Obama and other Democrats to moderate their views and compromise with Republicans on important issues? I don't ever recall seeing such a thing.

Posted by: dakotadoug83 | November 11, 2010 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Pretty sneaky to leave out the indie numbers, Greg. You know, the independent voters -- the ones who actually decide elections. If I didn't know better I'd think you were pushing a dreaded "narrative."

Posted by: ER11 | November 12, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

This would definitely define the republican meaning of Plum. They should just rewrite the whole English dictionary to suit their partisan definitions. I couldn't imagine how they could be any more "less" cooperative. They have stalemated the whole government and population of America with nothing but cheap rhetoric and propaganda. They are a disgrace to every American that ever died under an American flag.
Raise the price of fuel, instigate war, crash the economy for record profits!!

Posted by: kimkimminni1 | November 12, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Greg Sargent about the congressional Dems' preference for bipartisanship, and I agree, that in more moderate political times, that would be the ideal patriotic strategy. The Republicans, however, have pulled the political rug so far to the right, that it's necessary to fight to keep this nation's balance.

As I would not want to share a foxhole with a mate who would not fight - to defeat an enemy, or for our own self-preservation - so I feel cheated, that the President and Democratic Congress I helped elect are not willing to fight for the programs they once espoused, and that they used to become elected.

Posted by: mungmung | November 13, 2010 11:32 PM | Report abuse

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