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Poll: Three in Four Want Political Compromise

CBS News Poll analysis by the CBS News Polling Unit: Sarah Dutton, Jennifer De Pinto, Fred Backus and Anthony Salvanto.

Perhaps in response to the increasingly bitter partisan attacks that have defined the 2010 election cycle, most Americans say that no matter what the outcome of the upcoming Nov. 2 elections, they want to see political compromise in the future, according to a new CBS News/New York Times poll.

In a sample of 1,1,89 random respondents polled from October 21-26, 2010, 75 percent of likely voters - and 66 percent of Republicans - said that, if the GOP wins control of Congress, the party should compromise some of its positions to get things done. Seventy-one percent of all voters, and 79 percent of Republicans, said that Obama should compromise given the possibility of a GOP takeover.

Respondents also expressed deep cynicism about the motives ruling legislative decision-making: 75 percent of registered voters said they think that Republicans have opposed Democrats for mainly political reasons, while only 17 percent the opposition came from honest disagreements.

When asked about the political motives of Democratic lawmakers, the figures were similar: Seventy-two percent said they thought Democrats opposed GOP legislation for mainly political reasons, while 19 percent said the reason was honest disagreements.

CBS News Complete Coverage: Election 2010

More than eight in ten likely voters polled thought that, if elected, congressional Republicans would work to overturn of health care reform - and 47 percent of respondents said they would support such a repeal. (Forty-three percent said the law should stand as it is.)

Of the 47 percent who said they wanted to see health care reform overturned, 79 percent said they planned to vote Republican in the upcoming election. Seventy-five percent of those who said the law should remain in place planned to vote for Democrats.

Sixty-six percent of likely voters said they thought, if elected, Republicans would work to keep the 2001 Bush-era tax cuts in place. Opinion was split on whether or not Republicans would try to work with President Obama: 47 percent thought they would and 47 percent thought they would not.

Voters were also split as to whether a divided government, with different parties in control of the Presidency and Congress, was better or worse for the country.

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Read the Complete Poll

This poll was conducted among a random sample of 1,173 adults nationwide, interviewed by telephone October 22-26, 2010. An oversample of African Americans was interviewed, for a total of 273 interviews with African Americans. Phone numbers were dialed from RDD samples of both standard land-lines and cell phones. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus three percentage points. The sampling error could be plus or minus six percentage points for the African American sample. The error for subgroups is higher. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

Lucy Madison
Lucy Madison is a political reporter for You can read more of her posts here. Follow Hotsheet on Facebook and Twitter.
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