Post-Election Poll: Most Happy, Many Wary

Campaign buttons of democratic and republican parties over capitol building and US Flag AP / CBS

Most Americans are happy with the results of last week's elections, but many doubt that President Bush and the new Democratic Congress will be able to work together, according to a CBS News poll released Tuesday.

Fifty-eight percent say they are pleased with the outcome of the elections — nearly three times as many as say they are disappointed. Even one in four Republicans say they're pleased.

But despite the promises of bipartisanship coming out of Washington, many Americans don't think the White House and the Democrats who will take control of Congress in January will be able to get along.

Read the complete CBS News poll results.
Half of those interviewed think the White House and the Democrats will be able to work together, while 40 percent think they won't. The greatest skepticism comes from Republicans, while Democrats and Independents are more likely to see a chance of cooperation.

By 42 to 33 percent, Americans said the kind of divided government that came out of the election — when one party controls the presidency and the other controls Congress — is better for the country than one-party rule. Republicans were the most strongly in favor of one-party government, while Independents were particularly fond of divided control.

As for what the new Congress will do, Americans still have doubts that the Democrats have a clear plan for the country: 43 percent say they have one, 48 percent say they don't.

There's more consensus about what the Democrats will do about Iraq: 72 percent think they will remove U.S. troops, including one in four who say the Democrats will try to withdraw all troops.

Twice as many Americans (33 percent) think the economy will improve with the Democrats running Congress as think it will get worse (16 percent), but nearly half the public thinks it will stay the same.

Two-thirds think the Democratic Congress will increase the minimum wage.

Thirty-two percent think taxes will go up under the Democrats, compared with just 9 percent who think they will go down. But a majority, 54 percent, thinks taxes will stay the same.

Most say the threat of terrorism against the U.S. will not change.

As for President Bush, his approval rating remains at 34 percent, exactly what it was before the election. Sixty-one percent disapprove.

For detailed information on how CBS News conducts public opinion surveys, click here.


This poll was conducted among a nationwide random sample of 721 adults, interviewed by telephone on November 12-13, 2006. They had first been interviewed October 27-31, 2006. The error due to sampling could be plus or minus four percentage points for results based on the entire sample. The sampling error will be higher on results based on subgroups.
  • Joel Roberts

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