≡ Menu

GOP lawmakers are now more extreme than most GOP voters

This is really interesting:

I’m liking rank-and-file Republicans better and better. Earlier this month we learned that they favor Obama’s plan to tax the rich. Now we learn that a 55 percent majority of them think Wall Street bankers and brokers are “dishonest,” 69 percent think they’re “overpaid,” and 72 percent think they’re “greedy.” Fewer than half (47 percent) have an unfavorable view of the Occupy Wall Street protests. Thirty-three percent either favor them or have no opinion, and 20 percent haven’t heard of them. Also, a majority favor getting rid of the Electoral College and replacing it with a popular vote. After the 2000 election only 41 percent did. Now 53 percent do. How cool is that?

Every one of these positions puts the GOP rank-and-file at odds with their congressional leadership and field of presidential candidates.

Not only that, but a majority of Republicans support four of the five key components of Obama’s jobs bill:

Do you favor or oppose “cutting the payroll tax for all American workers”?
Republicans in favor: 58%
Republicans opposed: 40%

Do you favor or oppose “providing federal money to state governments to allow them to hire teachers and first responders”?
Republicans in favor: 63%
Republicans opposed: 36%
Do you favor or oppose “increasing federal spending to build and repair roads, bridges, and schools”?
Republicans in favor: 54%
Republicans opposed: 46%

Do you favor or oppose “increasing federal aid to unemployed workers”?
Republicans in favor: 36%
Republicans opposed: 63%

Do you favor or oppose “increasing the taxes paid by people who make more than one million dollars a year”?
Republicans in favor: 56%
Republicans opposed: 43%

Remember, overall, each of these ideas enjoy broad national support, but I’m highlighting the opinions of Republicans only. And in four of the five key parts to the Democratic plan, self-identified GOP voters approve of Obama’s ideas, in some cases by wide margins.

I mention this in part to show just how mainstream the American Jobs Act is, but also to note the chasm between Republican voters and Republican policymakers. With 63% of the GOP’s rank-and-file supporting, for example, aid to states to protect teachers’ and first responders’ jobs, it’s tempting to think at least some GOP lawmakers in Washington would support the idea. But in reality, that’s just not the case — literally zero Republicans on Capitol Hill are willing to even allow a vote on a popular jobs idea, during a jobs crisis, that even their own party’s voters strongly support.

Honestly we don’t believe most GOP lawmakers are that ideologically extreme. We think that their strategy is to simply deny Obama victories by blocking everything he proposes, even things they’ve supported in the past. Not sure if that’s better though.

{ 0 comments… add one }

Leave a Comment