There is gridlock because Republicans are determined to block any Obama initiative, 51 percent of voters say, while 35 percent say President Barack Obama lacks the skills to convince leaders of Congress to work together.
Asked another way, 53 percent say Obama is doing “too little” to compromise with congressional Republicans, but 68 percent of voters say congressional Republicans are doing “too little.” Ten percent of voters blame Democrats for gridlock, while 23 percent blame Republicans and 64 percent blame both parties equally.
“Voters think the Democrats and Obama aren’t playing nice, but they think the Republicans are worse,” said Brown.
The Supreme Court may rule on gay marriage this week. Advocates both for and against are glad the issue didn’t reach the court any sooner.
They didn’t want a repeat of the abortion issue. With its landmark decision in Roe v. Wade, the high court stepped in and guaranteed a right to abortion but also triggered a backlash that has lasted for 40 years.
With same-sex marriage, by contrast, legislators and voters in nearly every state had the chance to make their feelings known before the Supreme Court weighs in.
“People forget that durable rights don’t come from courts, they come from consensus and strong support from society,” says Jonathan Rauch, author of Denial, a recent memoir about growing up gay. “We are winning the right to marriage in a bigger, deeper way by winning it in the court of public opinion.”
After losing political battles in a majority of states, gay marriage supporters have won a number of legislative victories and ballot measures in recent years. Sensing momentum is in their favor, it may not be surprising that they’re glad they’ve had time to make their case to the public.
A Pew Research Center poll this month found that 72 percent of Americans believe universal gay marriage rights are “inevitable,” including 59 percent of those opposed to the idea.
Iran’s ruling theocracy was unable to overcome its notorious infighting and unite behind a single candidate in Friday’s presidential election, which has suddenly boosted the prospects of the lone moderate in the race and rekindled interest among some who had planned to boycott.
A cleric and former nuclear negotiator with only modest reform credentials, Hassan Rowhani stirred little enthusiasm when he announced his candidacy in April. Even when he was one of only two centrists to survive the vetting of the conservative, cleric-controlled Guardian Council, he was given little chance of drawing more than a sliver of the vote.
But with the withdrawal earlier this week of Mohammad Reza Aref, the only other candidate not thoroughly beholden to the religious hierarchy under supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Rowhani is now seen as having a shot at emerging high enough in the six-candidate field to advance to a June 21 runoff.
Aref, a Stanford-educated academic who was vice president under former President Mohammad Khatami, dropped his presidential bid at Khatami’s urging to strengthen Rowhani’s chances and give voters tired of Iran’s ravaged economy and international isolation a viable alternative to the status quo.
Slightly more voters say they’ll vote Democratic in the 2014 congressional elections than Republicans, bucking a historical trend of the president’s party losing seats in his sixth year, a new poll Wednesday shows.
Forty-one percent of voters said they’ll vote Democratic while 37 percent said they’ll vote for Republicans, according to a Quinnipiac University survey.
Overall, 48 percent of voters want one party to control both the Senate and House, while 43 percent would like it split. Sixty-four percent of Democrats want complete control, while 30 percent of them want it split. Meanwhile, 50 percent of GOPers want complete control while 44 percent it split. Among independents, 53 percent want complete control and 35 percent want it split.
ALEIGH The state House passed a bill Wednesday requiring voters to show a photo ID when they go to the polls in 2016, after an emotionally charged debate that underscored North Carolina’s political polarization.
House Republicans pushed through the measure saying that the public demanded more stringent ballot security at polling places, that voter fraud was more prevalent than is understood, and that in a modern, mobile society fewer election officials personally knew voters.
“Our system of government depends upon open and honest elections,” said Rep. David Lewis, a farm equipment dealer from Dunn and a Republican. “Having people prove who they say they are as a condition of voting makes sense and guarantees that each vote is weighted equally and cumulatively determines the outcome of elections.”
But the move was strongly opposed by Democrats who said a photo ID would create longer lines at the polls, make it harder for the elderly, African-Americans and some students to vote, and would unconstitutionally create different categories of voters.
“This bill would attempt to turn back the strong voting we’ve had in North Carolina,” said Rep. Garland Pierce, a Baptist minister from Laurinburg, noting that the Tar Heel state had the 12th-highest turnout in the country last November.
Millions of Kenyans poured into polling stations across the country on Monday in a crucial, anxiously awaited presidential election, and early reports said some violence erupted in the coastal region around Mombasa, recalling far greater bloodletting in the last national ballot five years ago.
Across the land, the turnout appeared to be tremendous. Starting hours before dawn, lines of voters wrapped in blankets and heavy coats stretched for nearly a mile in some places.
But in Mombasa, on the Indian Ocean, at least four police officers were butchered with machetes in an overnight attack that authorities believe was carried out by the Mombasa Republican Council, a fringe separatist group that opposes the elections and believes Kenya’s coast should be a separate country.
News reports put the death toll higher, with Reuters quoting senior police officials as saying nine security officers, two civilians and six attackers had died. Other reports put the tally at 12.
Some Western election observers in Mombasa, Kenya’s biggest coastal city, have pulled back to their hotels because of security concerns.
On 11 December 2012, the same people who took that poll, the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, headlined “Slim Majority Thinks Debt Deal Will Be Reached,” and reported that whereas 57% of registered voters favor expiration of the Bush tax cuts on incomes above $250,000 like Obama proposes, only 24% favor expiration of the Bush tax cuts for everyone, and 74% are opposed to that.
So, now, registered voters do want the Bush tax cuts to expire only for incomes above $250,000. Unlike back in July, the electorate now strongly favor Obama’s position, whereas they formerly favored the Republican position, by a moderate margin.
Registered voters constitute a far more conservative group than all adult Americans, and so there has always been strong support by non-voters for extending the Bush tax cuts on only incomes below $250,000.
This puts the best possible face on the problem while still describing it well.
President Obama’s top pollster said the Republican Party has a ‘tolerance problem’ and predicted it will continue to struggle at the ballot box if its members don’t have a major tonal change.
“If Republicans approach this as if they have a Latino problem, I think that they are missing a larger dynamic that’s in place right now. I believe that the Republican Party has a tolerance problem,” Obama pollster Joel Benenson said at event hosted by the center-left group Third Way Wednesday morning. “When you define people who look differently than you as illegal aliens and use that term over and over again and talk about self-deporting them, that’s a tolerance issue.”
Benenson said other examples of the GOP’s “tolerance problem” included their calling those who believe in global warming “job killers,” and its stances on gay marriage, Planned Parenthood and contraception. He said voters who don’t agree with the GOP were hearing a “very strident, intolerant point of view on specific issues” and called them a “party of orthodoxy.”
“They should rethink how their positions with these groups are implicitly defining them,” he said. “If they think they can solve their problems by picking off any one of those groups and saying ‘we’ll fix our problem here or there,’ this goes to whether you have core beliefs that are in line and in touch with the vast majority of Americans.”
To make sure that no voter is subjected to intimidation when they hit the polls next month, one organization is dispensing military veterans to booths across the country.
Back in 2008, voters in Philadelphia claimed to have been accosted by members of the Black Panthers wearing military gear, who were trying to discourage them from exercising their right to choose their president. Four years later, Get Out the Vet — an organization made up of military veterans who register vets and help military members overseas send out their ballots –- will be patrolling the polls to ensure that no voters are made uncomfortable as they cast their ballots, Fox news reports.
‘Every veteran at one point in their life has taken an oath to preserve, protect and defend the constitution,’ Ben Brink, founder of Get Out the Vet, told Fox News. ‘So, who better than veterans to watch the polls and be a fair observer of elections?’