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Poll: Americans place blame for partisanship

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Is our Government broken?
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Sixty-seven percent of respondents say GOP not doing enough to help President Obama
  • Fifty-two percent say Obama is not doing enough to cooperate with GOP, poll says
  • Fifty-four percent say Democrats should take the first step toward bipartisan solutions

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Washington (CNN) -- Two-thirds of Americans think that the Republicans in Congress are not doing enough to cooperate with President Obama, according to a new national poll.

But a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey, released Wednesday, also indicates the public believes the Democrats should be the ones to take the first step toward bipartisan cooperation and they want the Democrats to give up more than the GOP to reach a consensus.

Sixty-seven percent of respondents say the GOP is not doing enough to cooperate with the White House, up 6 points from last April.

Americans appear split on whether the president is doing enough to reach out to Republicans, with 52 percent saying Obama is not doing enough to cooperate with the GOP, while 47 percent say he is doing enough to reach across the political aisle. The 52 percent who say the president's not doing enough to encourage bipartisanship is up 16 points from last April.

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"That's a big change from last spring, when Obama was still in the honeymoon phase of his first term," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Congressional Republicans were familiar to Americans, but Obama was new to them, so his early attempts to reach out to the GOP continued to resonate even after it became clear that bipartisanship was not within easy reach."

Even though more people think Republicans are not doing enough to reach bipartisan consensus, 54 percent believe the Democratic party should take the first step toward developing bipartisan solutions to the country's problems, the survey says. Forty-two percent say the GOP should take that first step.

Just over half of those questioned say the Democrats should give up more ground to achieve bipartisanship, while 43 percent want to see the GOP make more compromises.

"Americans feel the ball is in the Democrats' court," Holland added. "They may not be held responsible for the problem, but since they are in charge of the government, Americans appear to think they are responsible for the solution."

According to CNN poll numbers released Sunday, Americans overwhelmingly think that the government in this country is broken, but the public overwhelmingly holds out hope that what's broken can be fixed.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll was conducted February 12-15, with 1,023 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points for the overall survey.

CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.

 
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