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Independent voters believe Congressional Republicans are more partisan than Democrats

by Christopher A. Guzman, published

A recent Rasmussen poll shows that voters not affiliated with any major political party believe that congressional Republicans are slightly more partisan than their Democratic colleagues.  This comes as congressional representatives from both parties spar over whether or not to raise the debt ceiling. 

71% of these unaffiliated voters say congressional Republicans are now acting more like partisan Republicans. 65% think that congressional Democrats are governing like partisan Democrats. Inside-the-Beltway politics in the eyes of 72% of unaffiliated voters will likely become more partisan over the next year. 

An indication that more of the country may be jumping on board with the Independent voter movement, a majority of likely voters also expressed a similar sentiment with 64% of them saying that congressional Republicans are acting like partisan Republicans. Only 18% say that Republicans are governing on a bipartisan basis. Another 18% are undecided on the issue.

Similarly, 62% of likely voters believe that Democrats are acting like partisan Democrats and 23% believe that Democrats are acting on a bipartisan basis. Only 15% of these likely voters are undecided about partisanship among Democrats.

Although both major parties are viewed as highly partisan, Rasmussen notes that this is the first time since October 2010 -and only the third month since January 2009- that these voters have rated the GOP as worse in an already acrimonious political environment. Previously in April 2011, voters rated Democrats as more partisan by several points higher than the GOP now. 

Only 15% believe that there will be more cooperation over the next 12 months. The percentage of voters who believe that politics has become more partisan is virtually unchanged from last month and is at the highest level in nearly a year of Rasmussen's monthly tracking. This figure has fluctuated between from 49%-70% since March 2009.

As one can already guess, President Obama hasn't received very high marks when it comes to governing in a bipartisan manner. Only 36% of voters overall believe that the President is governing in a bipartisan fashion.  Even though more voters view congressional Republicans as more partisan than Democrats, nearly 62% feel that it's at least somewhat likely that a Republican will replace President Barack Obama in 2012.

Rasmussen Reports conducted the national survey of 1,000 likely voters on July 12-13, 2011. It's sampling error margin is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

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