Politics Magazine

Our Divided Country Assures 2 More Years Of Gridlock

Posted on the 14 November 2014 by Jobsanger
Our Divided Country Assures 2 More Years Of Gridlock
Our Divided Country Assures 2 More Years Of Gridlock
Our Divided Country Assures 2 More Years Of Gridlock
All of the charts in this post were made from information in a new Pew Research Center survey (done between November 6th and 9th of a random national sample of 1,353 adults, with a margin of error of 3.1 points).
On election night, a lot of the pundits (even some from the left) pronounced that this was a "wave election" -- a wave in favor of the Republicans, and many said this gave the GOP a "mandate" to pursue their agenda in Washington. And at first glance, that would seem to be true.
But it isn't. The truth is that most Americans did not give the Republicans a mandate to rule -- but only their own base. The turnout was the lowest turnout of eligible voters in the last 70 years (since 1942). The Republicans turned out in large numbers (like they did in 2010) -- angry that they still haven't been able to do anything about the African-American in the White House. But the Democrats and Independents didn't vote in large numbers, and that allowed the Republicans to carry the day (seizing control of the Senate and extending their control in the House).
So, does the Republican control of Congress mean the gridlock in Washington is over. I seriously doubt it -- and the results of this Pew survey would seem to show that the public is really not ready for gridlock to end. Note that the public is evenly split over whether they like the plans of Republican leaders, and evenly split over whether they want the GOP Congress or President Obama to take the lead in trying to solve the nation's problems. And a majority doesn't believe the president will accomplish anything in his last two years.
With the nation being this evenly split, there is no mandate for either party -- and we can expect both parties to continue the gridlock, refusing to give in or compromise. Adding to this problem is the fact that (as demonstrated in the chart below) twice as many Republicans think it is more important for the GOP Congress to "stand up" to the president, than to work with him to solve the nation's problems. And with their base thinking that, we can't expect the GOP leaders to now be willing to compromise for the good of the country.
We are still locked in the same ideological battle that produced gridlock in the last four years -- and sadly, it looks like we'll have two more years of the same.
Our Divided Country Assures 2 More Years Of Gridlock

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