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Majority of voters more likely to back candidate who can compromise: poll

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A solid majority of voters say that they’re more likely to elect a member of Congress who is able to find compromise across party lines than one who stands their ideological ground, according to a new poll.

The survey, which was commissioned by the Bipartisan Policy Center and conducted by Morning Consult, found that 62 percent of registered voters are more interested in candidates who find compromise and common ground between Democrats and Republicans than in those who toe their party line.

Only 24 percent said that they were more likely to vote for someone who “stands their ground and pushes their political party’s own agenda.”

Broken down by party, Democratic voters were the most likely to support compromise-minded candidates, with 66 percent saying so. Nearly as many independents – 63 percent – said the same, while Republicans were slightly more likely than the rest to say that they would back members of Congress who held firm in their views, at 57 percent.

The findings suggest a broad sense of fatigue among voters across the political divide with the polarization of American politics.

While President Biden entered the White House promising to bridge the divisions consuming the U.S., more than a year into his first term in office, voters are largely pessimistic about the amount of bipartisan legislation that has moved through Congress.

A plurality of voters – 36 percent – believe that less than a quarter of the legislation passed by Congress is bipartisan in nature, according to the poll. Nearly two-thirds of respondents – 64 percent – say that less than half of the legislation is bipartisan.

What’s more, a majority of voters believe that partisan polarization has actually increased over the past two years, with 52 percent saying so and only 17 percent saying that it has decreased. That includes majorities of both Democratic and independent voters, while 45 percent of Republican voters believe that polarization is rising.

Still, there’s little agreement between Democrats and Republicans over the root causes of partisan polarization. Democrats, for instance, were more likely to blame issues like voter suppression, the Electoral College and the use of the filibuster in the Senate for the nation’s deep divisions. Republican voters were more likely to point to election fraud.

The Morning Consult/BPC poll surveyed 2,005 registered voters online from Feb. 18-20. It has a margin of sampling error of +/-2 percentage points.

Tags Bipartisanship Joe Biden Voting

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