In his State of the Union on Tuesday, the Pres. Obama indicated that he'll bypass Congress to move forward with parts of his agenda. Yet, a new CNN poll showed that only 30% support Obama's strategy. Additionally, 67% support measures that'll lead to a bipartisan compromise. You know, all that reaching across the aisle stuff.
At the same time, a recent Washington Post/ ABC News poll showed that 52% of Americans support this strategy by the president, which led to the Post's Greg Sargent saying, "in other words, despite the inevitable screams about Obama "tyranny," this approach will politically be at worst a wash...the right wing version of Obama-as-tyrant has never really resonated with the middle of the country. Meanwhile, polls have indicated the American public understands the true nature of GOP obstructionism."
The difference? The CNN poll question was specific and asked about Obama, while the Post poll question was vague and asked about theoretical "presidents" - after first granting this power to those unnamed presidents.
Here's how the people at the Post framed the question: "Presidents have the power in some cases to bypass Congress and take action by executive order to accomplish their administration's goals. Is this approach something you [support or oppose]?"
CNN asked: "In general, would you rather see Barack Obama attempt to reach a bipartisan compromise with Congress on major issues, or would you rather see Obama take unilateral action without Congress to make changes in government policy that are not supported by Republicans? "
Because in the real world, those are - more or less - the two options when it comes to governing.