Poll: Majority wants lawmakers to compromise principles to reach consensus

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That represents a slight uptick from last year, when 51 percent said it was more important to compromise and 21 percent said leaders should stick to their principles, even if it prevented things from getting done.

Unsurprisingly, the desire for compromise is spearheaded by Democrats, of whom more than six in 10 say it is important to make deals. By contrast, 55 percent of independents say lawmakers should be willing to make a deal, while just 38 percent of Republicans agree. While just two in 10 Democrats say lawmakers should stick to their beliefs, 36 percent of Republicans feel that way.

Only 39 percent of Tea Party supporters are inclined to compromise, while two-thirds of self-described liberals are. Some 56 percent of centrists favor brokering political deals, while 42 percent of Republicans agree. 

That disparity can likely be chalked up to divided government, with Republicans holding control of just the House, making GOP voters more invested in their representatives sticking up for their ideals. Republicans, who typically favor limited government, have also found political success in obstructing new legislation or the implementation of laws on the books.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) admitted as much in a July interview with CBS News, saying lawmakers "should not be judged by how many new laws we create; we ought to be judged on how many laws we repeal. We've got more laws than the administration could ever enforce."

Still, Gallup cautioned against reading too much into the survey respondents inclination toward compromise.

"The American people at the moment clearly tilt toward the sentiment that their representatives — as a whole — should compromise on important matters, even if it means voting against a particular representative's principles," Gallup's Frank Newport said in a release.

"Of course, these sentiments are measured in reference to Congress as a whole without respect to specific issues. It's quite possible that Americans would feel their particular representative should not compromise on issues of great importance to them personally."

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