Half of the voters who supported President Joe Biden in last year’s election think he should try to compromise with Republicans in Washington, a new HuffPost/YouGov survey finds.
Fifty percent of Biden voters say the president should compromise some of his positions in order to work with the GOP, the poll finds, with 30% saying he should stick to his positions even if it means not coming to an agreement. The rest aren’t sure.
By contrast, a 57% majority of voters who backed former President Donald Trump say that Republicans in Washington should stick to their positions, with just 28% favoring compromise.
Both sides, unsurprisingly, overwhelmingly believe their opponents should be amenable to a compromise.
The question is a general one, meaning it doesn’t necessarily signal how Americans will respond to compromises on specific policies or political issues. But the results signal something about the tenor and rhetoric that people in each party tend to favor.
Polling in December found a similar partisan asymmetry in appetites for bipartisanship. The intervening time included a number of events that could have reshaped Americans’ attitudes about comity, including Democrats retaking control of the Senate, the insurrection at the Capitol and the second impeachment of Trump, but appeared to not substantially alter opinions on working across the aisle.
In his inaugural address, Biden attempted to strike a unifying note.
“I know speaking of unity can sound to some like a foolish fantasy,” he said Wednesday. “I know the forces that divide us are deep and they are real. But I also know they are not new. … We can join forces, stop the shouting and lower the temperature.”
Political unity, of course, isn’t the same thing as agreeing on policy issues. But the public is generally pessimistic about the prospects of bipartisan cooperation. Americans say, 60% to 17%, that it’s unrealistic to expect that Republicans and Democrats will work together...