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Most Democrats Don’t Want Their Party To Work With Trump

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Most voters think Democrats should work with Donald Trump once he’s in the White House, but Democrats strongly disagree. Still, voters are more hopeful about the parties cooperating than they’ve been since President Obama’s inauguration in 2009.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 64% of Likely Democratic Voters think it is more important for their party to stand up for what it believes in rather than work with President Trump. Thirty-two percent (32%) disagree and say Democrats should work with the new president. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Among all voters, however, 58% think the Democratic Party should work with Trump, while 36% think it should stand up for what it believes in. Eighty-nine percent (89%) of Republicans want Democrats to work with Trump, as do voters not affiliated with either major party by a 56% to 34% margin.

The numbers are similar to those measured after Obama’s election in 2008. Sixty-nine percent (69%) of Republicans at the time felt their party should stand up for what it believes in. Eighty-three percent (83%) of Democrats felt the GOP should work with the president.

Forty percent (40%) of all voters expect politics in Washington to become more partisan in the next year, but just as many (39%) think it will become more cooperative. A sizable 20% are undecided. This is virtually identical to attitudes just after Obama's inauguration in early 2009.

Following his reelection in 2012, 43% predicted more partisanship, while 33% expected more political cooperation.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on November 9-10, 2016 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.

A survey in August of last year found that 22% of voters think opposition between the president and Congress is due mostly to honest differences of opinion, while 70% believe it’s mostly due to partisan politics.

Nearly half of Democrats (49%) and unaffiliated voters (48%) expect politics in Washington to grow more partisan over the next year, but most Republicans (54%) think it will become more cooperative. Those numbers were reversed in 2012, with most Republicans expecting more partisanship after Obama’s reelection.

Most voters in the majority of demographic groups think Democrats should work with Trump.

The younger the voter, the more likely he or she is to say the Democratic Party should stand up for its beliefs.

Men feel more strongly than women do that Democrats should work with the newly elected president.

Sixty-one percent (61%) of blacks think Democrats should stand up for what they believe in, while most whites (66%) say the party should work with Trump. Other minority voters are almost evenly divided.

While 67% of Republicans and 54% of voters not affiliated with either major political party are Very Confident that all votes were counted and the right candidates were declared winners in last week's election, just 34% of Democrats agree.

Trump in a “60 Minutes” interview on CBS Sunday night made it clear that Obamacare and the U.S. Supreme Court are high on his list of action items, and voters think that’s a good place to start.

Most Republicans have said in surveys for years that their leaders in Washington, D.C. have lost touch with the GOP base throughout the nation. Trump's nomination was seen by many as a repudiation of the GOP leadership. By contrast, most Democrats think their leaders are doing a good job representing the party’s values.

In early August, 47% of Republicans said their party should be more like Trump than like House Speaker Paul Ryan, the most powerful Republican in Congress. Thirty-six percent (36%) said it should be more like Ryan, while nine percent (9%) preferred neither as a party role model.

During this year’s Democratic primaries, 47% of Democratic voters felt their party should be more like Clinton, but 39% said it should be more like Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

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To learn more about our methodology, click here.