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Poll: Americans Want GOP, Dems to Compromise

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

The 2010 midterm elections marked a historic loss for President Obama's Democratic party, and although the Republicans now control the House of Representatives, the public wants them to work with the president and compromise in order to get things done.

Americans' desire to see Republicans and Democrats put the bickering aside and get some work done extends across both parties, with a substantial 72 percent of those polled by CBS News saying the GOP members of Congress should make trade offs in order to get things accomplished.

Only 21 percent of those surveyed (and only 32 percent of Republicans) said Republican lawmakers should stick to their positions, even if it means not getting as much done.

Even most Tea Party supporters -- who overwhelmingly backed Republican House candidates -- said compromise should be the primary focus of Congress. Thirty-eight percent of those expressing support for the conservative grassroots movement said Republicans should stick to their guns, however.

Full Election 2010 Results

Americans are also keen to see President Obama compromise; 78 percent of the public (and 88 percent of Republicans) said Mr. Obama should be willing to make compromises if that's what it takes to get the government's work done. Only 16 percent of those polled said he should stick closely to his positions.

Mr. Obama's overall job approval rating, meanwhile, remained unchanged in the latest CBS News Poll, which was conducted following the Nov. 2 midterm election. An equal portion of those asked, 45 percent, said they approved and disapproved of the president's handling of the nation's top job. Americans have been divided, in almost exact portions, in their views of Mr. Obama for months.

A similar number of people, 46 percent, said they approved of how the Commander in Chief was handling foreign policy matters, while 37 percent voiced disapproval.

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Also, last week's election results don't appear to have had a significant impact on Americans' views of either political party. The public remains divided in its perception of the Republican and Democratic parties. Despite the gains of last week, the GOP is viewed favorably by 42 percent of those polled, while slightly more, 48 percent, view them unfavorably. Views of the Democratic Party are slightly more positive, but still mixed (46 percent favorable; 46 unfavorable).

Read the Complete Poll

This poll was conducted among a random sample of 1,137 adults nationwide, interviewed by telephone November 7-10, 2010. 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 error for subgroups is higher. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

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