The only poll you need to understand the shutdown

at 11:24 AM ET, 04/07/2011

Nothing explains the current contretemps in Washington as well as this NBC/WSJ poll (pdf). First, they asked Democrats and independents, “Do you want Democratic leaders in the House and Senate to make compromises to gain consensus on the current budget debate, or do you want them stick to their positions even if this means not being able to gain consensus on the budget?” Turns out they want compromise:

Then the poll asked Republicans and independents, “do you want Republican leaders in the House and Senate to make compromises to gain consensus on the current budget debate, or do you want them stick to their positions even if this means not being able to gain consensus on the budget?” The answer for independents was very similar, but for Republicans, it was almost the precise opposite:

The problem for Republicans is that what their base wants them to do is not what independents want them to do. Democrats, meanwhile, can work to prove their openness to compromise because that’s what both their base and independents want them to do. Their political incentives are a lot easier to navigate than the GOP’s.

 
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