November 12, 2012
Most voters feel it’s more important for Republicans to work with President Obama than stand up for what their party believes in. GOP voters overwhelmingly disagree, even as their party’s congressional leaders reach out to Obama to make a budget deal. Forty-six percent (46%) of all Likely U.S. Voters believe the president set the right tone for the future with his victory speech Tuesday night. Thirty-two percent (32%) disagree and think he did not set the right tone. Twenty-two percent (22%) are not sure.
By comparison, 56% felt Obama set the right tone in his victory speech four years ago. Fifty-five percent (55%) now say, looking to the future, that it is more important for the Republican Party to work with Obama. Thirty-nine percent (39%) believe it is more important for the party to stand for what it believes in. This is nearly identical to voter attitudes just after the presidential election in November 2008. Not surprisingly, there’s a huge partisan difference of opinion on both these questions. Seventy-eight percent (78%) of Democrats and a modest plurality (42%) of voters not affiliated with either party say the president set the right tone in his victory speech. Sixty-five percent (65%) of Republicans disagree.
Eighty-six percent (86%) of voters in the president’s party and 56% of unaffiliateds feel it is more important for the GOP to work with Obama. But 79% of Republicans think their party should put what it stands for first. Republicans are even more emphatic that the GOP should stick to its principles than they were four years ago. But then just 33% of GOP voters think Republicans in Congress have done a good job of representing the party’s values.
Fifty-five percent (55%) believe Republicans in Congress have lost touch with the party’s voters throughout the nation. Still, this is more faith than Republicans had four years ago when 68% felt their congressional representatives were out of touch with the party’s base. But then Republican have taken control of the House of Representatives since then. Among all voters nationwide, 21% say congressional Republicans have done a good job representing party values, while 61% believe they have lost touch with GOP voters nationwide.