Gallup: More Americans Prefer Leaders Compromise Rather Than Stick to Principles

Posted: Oct 09, 2017 12:00 PM

A Gallup survey, released Monday, shows that most Americans prefer that political leaders in Washington, D.C. compromise to get things done rather than stick to principles.

When asked if it is more important for leaders to stick to their beliefs or compromise, 54 percent of those surveyed preferred compromise and just 18 percent wanted leaders to stick to their beliefs even if little gets done. Twenty-eight percent of those surveyed had views that were somewhere in between compromise and principles.

Gallup noted that the gap between those who prefer compromise and those who prefer sticking to principles is now the “widest” since they began asking this as part of their governance survey in 2010.

Forty-four percent of Republicans and those who lean Republican prefer leaders to compromise and just 23 percent prefer that leaders stick to their beliefs. As for Democrats, 62 percent favor compromise and 12 percent prefer leaders that stick to principles.

Democrats overall are more likely to favor compromise than Republicans, but only those who identified themselves as "very conservative," 8 percent of the overall population, favored leaders sticking to beliefs (41 percent) over compromise (29 percent).

“During the last shutdown, in October 2013,” Gallup points out, “Americans gave Congress its lowest job approval rating in Gallup's history. Americans' negative reactions to that instance of putting ideology above action, plus the current data showing that Americans favor compromise above sticking to principles, make it clear that the public will most likely have little tolerance if their elected representatives cannot reach agreement on key legislation between now and the end of the year.”

Results for the poll are “based on telephone interviews conducted Sept. 6-10, 2017, with a random sample of 1,022 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. For results based on the total sample of national adults, the margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.”

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