Americans want their politicians to work together. But they’re not sure Congress can deliver.
A new national poll by NPR, the PBS NewsHour, and Marist College has gauged Americans’ views of Capitol Hill ahead of the start of the 118th Congress next month, and it proves that the work of No Labels is needed more than ever.
As Republicans take back control of the House of Representatives after four years in the minority, the poll asked voters: Will a GOP House and a Democratic Senate be able to work together to achieve victories for the nation?
For a majority of Americans, the answer is a resounding “No, but we wish they would.”
The poll found that 74% of Americans agree that “it is more important for government officials in Washington to compromise to find solutions than to stand on principle.” Yet 58% of respondents had no confidence that the two parties will work together in a bipartisan manner over the next two years.
Perhaps it’s no surprise, then, that both parties received negative approval ratings from respondents.
According to Lee M. Miringoff, Director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, “Most Americans would like to see more progress on important issues in Washington. Although about a quarter feel the current Congress took some steps in that direction, most are pessimistic that the next Congress will take significant strides to work together.”
It’s worth noting that despite the partisanship that dominated much of the day-to-day in Washington, the 117th Congress did deliver a number of notable bipartisan victories, including major actions on infrastructure funding, gun safety, and investments in U.S.-made semiconductors.
Leaders of those bills, like the bipartisan House Problem Solvers Caucus, could be well positioned to make an impact again, as congressional leadership in both chambers face razor-thin majorities.
With most Americans believing the country is on the wrong track, and with dismal congressional approval ratings, another healthy dose of bipartisanship and cooperation could be just what the doctor ordered.