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Voters Now See GOP in Congress Nearly As Extreme As Democrats

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

For the first time, voters feel the agenda of congressional Republicans is nearly as extreme as that of Democrats in Congress.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 39% of Likely U.S. Voters say it is more accurate to describe the agenda of Republican members of Congress as mainstream. Slightly more voters (43%), however, believe it’s more accurate to label the GOP agenda as extreme. Eighteen percent (18%) are undecided.  (To see survey question wording, click here.) 

Prior to the latest survey, the number who viewed the GOP agenda as extreme bounced between 38% and 40% in five surveys since last August. Meanwhile, the number who saw the agenda as mainstream ranged from 40% to 45%. 

Forty-seven percent (47%) of voters view the agenda of congressional Democrats as extreme, up two points from last month. Thirty-seven percent (37%) see the Democrats’ agenda as mainstream. Sixteen percent (16%) are undecided.   

Since last year, the number of voters who describe the Democratic agenda as mainstream has ranged from 32% to 40%. Those who felt it is extreme have run from 45% to 57%.

Not surprisingly, strong majorities of Democratic and Republican voters describe their own party’s agenda as mainstream. A plurality of voters not affiliated with either major political party views the agendas of both parties in Congress as extreme.

Among Political Class voters, 67% say the Republican agenda in Congress is extreme, while 63% view the Democratic congressional agenda as mainstream. But 59% of Mainstream voters regard the Democratic agenda as extreme, while a plurality (47%) describes the GOP agenda as mainstream.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on June 2-3, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology


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