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Behind the Numbers
Posted at 02:00 PM ET, 07/26/2011

Pew: Across party lines, more Americans seek compromise

As leaders in Washington seem to be hastily retreating to their respective corners, the American public is increasingly agitating for compromise, according to a new poll by the Pew Research Center.

More than two-thirds of those surveyed over the weekend say lawmakers should compromise to strike a deal on the debt; that’s sharply higher than the slimmer majority backing compromise in early April as the parties battled over a potential government shutdown.

The number saying lawmakers should compromise now is higher across the political spectrum than it was three months ago. Overall, support for compromise is up 13-points from Pew’s April poll, and it’s up double-digits among Democrats, Republicans and independents alike.

Support for compromise has also jumped higher among Republicans and GOP-leaning independents who agree with the tea party political movement. In the earlier poll, barely a quarter of tea party Republicans said lawmakers who share their views should bend in the shutdown debate; now, more than four in 10 say they should compromise, even if that means a sub-par deal. Despite the shift, most tea party Republicans – 53 percent – say they’d prefer such lawmakers “stand by their principles, even if that means the government goes into default.”


Read the full poll results.

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