CNN Poll: GOP is too extreme

December 20, 2012

A CNN/ORC survey released Thursday once again emphasizes Republicans' weak position in the "fiscal cliff" debate, as public opinion is decidedly tilted in Democrats' favor. 

Fifty-three percent of Americans called GOP policies "too extreme," according to the survey, while 43 percent called them "generally mainstream." By contrast, 37 percent called the Democratic party "too extreme."

Fifty-two percent of Americans disapprove of the way House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is handling his job, and 53 percent think Republicans should give up more than Democrats in a bipartisan solution to the country's problems.

By contrast, 52 percent approve of the job President Obama is doing, and only 41 percent think Democrats should give up more of their proposals in a compromise.

Forty-eight percent would blame congressional Republicans if we go over the "fiscal cliff," compared to 37 percent who would blame President Obama.

One bright spot for the GOP: 51 percent think it's good for the country that Republicans hold the House of Representatives.

The CNN poll is only the latest of several to find that the Republican brand is badly damaged and that the GOP would take most of the blame if austerity measures kick in. That means the party needs a deal with Obama, and will likely try to push most contentious battles into the future when their position is stronger.  

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.
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