“Why Are Republicans So…”

The fierce partisanship seen in the debt ceiling battle got me thinking about how the nation sees the Republican and Democratic parties. A new Gallup poll shows the public isn’t happy with the standoff: House Speaker John Boehner gets a 31% approval rating for his handling of the crisis, while 41% approve of how Obama is managing the situation.

According to a new Pew survey, most Americans just want the two parties to get it done and over with: 68% of those polled said lawmakers should “be willing to compromise,” even if the final deal is one the lawmaker “disagrees” with. These views varied by party: Democrats were overwhelmingly in favor of compromise (81%) while only half of Republicans felt the same way. Of Republicans, Tea Party Republicans were the least likely to think they should sacrifice their values for the common good: 53% said they should “stand by their principles” instead.

The Pew survey had some other interesting findings about how Americans are seeing the parties during this time of struggle. Republicans are seen as “extreme” while Democrats are seen as being more ethical and concerned with citizens’ needs. Looking Google’s autocomplete options, though, it seems many may think of the parties similarly: “stupid” is the #1 autocomplete option for “Why are Republicans/Democrats so…”. After that, Republicans get “hateful,” “evil,” “selfish,” and “mean” while Democrats get “weak,” “dumb,” “stupid” again, and “angry.” Hmmm, both sound so appealing. Guess we’ll see next year which party voters truly prefer.


In 2014, before Donald Trump announced his run for president, we knew we had to do something different to address the fundamental challenge facing journalism: how hard-hitting reporting that can hold the powerful accountable can survive as the bottom falls out of the news business.

Being a nonprofit, we started planning The Moment for Mother Jones, a special campaign to raise $25 million for key investments to make Mother Jones the strongest watchdog it can be. Five years later, readers have stepped up and contributed an astonishing $23 million in gifts and future pledges. This is an incredible statement from the Mother Jones community in the face of huge threats—both economic and political—against the free press.

Read more about The Moment and see what we've been able to accomplish thanks to readers' incredible generosity so far, and please join them today. Your gift will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $500,000 total, during this critical moment for journalism.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.


We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.