Voters who self-identify as Republicans were more skeptical, with just 27 percent saying either Obama or Democrats would work toward bipartisan solutions. But, they say, 64 percent of Republicans in Congress would do so.
Independent respondents more closely mirror the national trend, with 65 percent saying the president would work toward compromise, half saying the same of congressional Democrats and 43 percent saying congressional Republicans would do so.
Respondents were split on who they believed should compromise more in the upcoming negotiations on the looming fiscal cliff of automatic spending cuts and tax increases. Some 68 percent said both sides should compromise equally, while just 14 percent of respondents said the House GOP should compromise the most. An identical 14 percent said the same of Obama and the Senate Democrats.
The polls actually represent an across-the-board improvement from November 2010, just after Republicans retook the House of Representatives. Then, only 64 percent said Obama would sincerely look to reach across the aisle, with 51 percent believing Democrats would do the same. Only 43 percent said the same of Republicans in 2010.
"Americans are less sure about bipartisan impulses in Washington today than they were four years ago, after Obama's victory in the 2008 election," said Gallup's Lydia Saad in a statement. "However, overall, Americans are slightly more confident now that leaders will seek mutually acceptable solutions than they were after the November 2010 elections establishing the divided government that continues today."
Americans are far more disenchanted with their government than they were just after Obama was first elected. Then, eight in 10 respondents said Obama would reach across the aisle, while 62 percent said the same of congressional Republicans — better than congressional Democrats, of whom only 59 percent said they saw as compromising.