Nearly 9 in 10 doubt Obama, GOP can break gridlock
Americans may not agree on much lately, but one opinion is nearly universal: There's almost no chance that President Barack Obama, a Democrat, and the Republican Congress can work together to solve the country's problems.
A new Associated Press-GfK poll finds just 13 per cent of Americans are confident the leaders, separated by nearly two miles of Pennsylvania Avenue, can work together, while 86 per cent have no such faith. That's far more than the 58 per cent who felt that way just after the 2010 midterm elections in which the tea party movement rose to prominence.
The doubts cross party lines: Fewer than one in five Democrats or independents have confidence the two sides can cooperate. Republicans are even more pessimistic, with just one in 10 confident Obama and Congress can work together.
Those who lack confidence spread the blame around: 41 per cent say neither side would do enough to work together, 35 per cent place more blame on the Republicans, 22 per cent on the president.
Not much hope
Neither side holds much hope things are going to get better, either. Just 16 per cent think the president is likely to restore public trust in government in the next two years, while 20 per cent feel congressional Republicans will.
Robert Cole, 65, said both Democrats and Republicans deserve blame for Washington's stalemate: "If you want to place the blame, it rests on the American voter."
"They're not doing their jobs, and we as the electorate are stupid in sending the same people back and expecting things to change," said Cole, a retiree who lives in Ocala, Florida.
But not everyone sees cooperation as a positive.