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Behind the Numbers
Posted at 02:00 PM ET, 02/09/2010

Poll: Bipartisanship popular, compromise tricky

Americans spread the blame when it comes to the lack of cooperation in Washington, and, in a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, most want the two sides to keep working to pass comprehensive health-care reform.

Nearly six in 10 in the new poll say the Republicans aren't doing enough to forge compromise with President Obama on important issues; more than four in 10 see Obama as doing too little to get GOP support. Among independents, 56 percent see the Republicans in Congress as too unbending and 50 percent say so of the president; 28 percent of independents say both sides are doing too little to find agreement.

As party leaders tussle over the proposed bipartisan health care summit, nearly two-thirds of Americans say they want Congress to keep working to pass comprehensive health-care reform. Democrats overwhelmingly support continued action on this front, as do 56 percent of independents and 42 percent of Republicans.

The sticky part of widespread desire for compromise is that it's simple to want it from the other side. About three-quarters of Democrats see the congressional Republicans as intransigent, while a similar proportion of Republicans see Obama that way. But even Republicans are critical of their congressional leadership, with 44 percent seeing them as doing too little to strike deals with Obama; that compares with just 13 percent of Democrats worried about inaction on Obama's part.

At the same time, the president does pick up some criticism from the left here: 18 percent of liberal Democrats say Obama is doing too much to compromise with the GOP on big issues.

More from the poll conducted Thursday through Monday will be released tomorrow in The Washington Post. The margin of sampling error for the results from the full random sample of 1,004 adults is plus or minus three percentage points.

By  |  02:00 PM ET, 02/09/2010

Categories:  Post Polls, Post Polls

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