Gallup: Democrats Spend Too Much, GOP Won't Compromise

By Susan Jones | April 1, 2013 | 6:24 AM EDT

(AP Photo)

( - Democrats spend too much money and Republicans are unwilling to compromise: A new Gallup poll asked Americans to name "one or two specific things you dislike" about the Republican Party and the Democrat Party, and those attributes topped the list of negatives.

Twenty-six percent of people identifying themselves as Republican said the GOP is inflexible or unwilling to compromise, as did 17% of independents, and 22% of Democrats.

Number two on the list of Republican negatives was protecting the wealthy: Twenty percent of Democrats said that about Republicans, compared with 10% of independents and only 2% of Republicans.

The poll found that Democrats are far less critical of their own party than Republicans are of theirs.

While 23% of Republicans said Democrats spend too much money, only 10% of Democrats (and 11% of independents) said that about Democrats.

The number two negative for Democrats was being inflexible/unwilling to compromise: 12% of Republicans said that about Democrats, but only 6% of Democrats said that about their party (as did 7% of independents).

Gallup also asked Americans to name "one or two specific things you like" about each party.

Sixty percent of Democrats and 36% of independents say there is nothing they like about the Republican Party. Likewise, 61 percent of Republicans and 35 percent of independents said they like "nothing" about the Democratic Party.

Twenty percent of Republicans praised their party for "better fiscal management" or budget cuts; and the same percentage chose conservative views. Very small percentages (single digits) of Democrats and independents said this about Republicans.

Asked to say what they like about their own party, 22 percent of Democrats said their party cares about the middle class. Five percent of Republicans said this as did 14% of independents.

The bottom line, according to Gallup: Americans can name plenty of things they like and dislike about both major political parties, and no single factor dominates either's image. However, the idea that the Republican leadership is inflexible and unwilling to compromise with the Democrats overshadows all other criticisms leveled at the GOP, both within and outside its ranks.

The GOP enjoys a positive tilt in its support for lower spending, smaller government, lower taxes, and its general conservatism.

The leading positive perception of the Democratic Party nationally is that it cares about the middle or working class (a prominent sentiment among both Democrats and independents); however, this is matched by the percentage saying it spends too much money (a top negative mention among all party groups).

Results are based on telephone interviews conducted as part of Gallup Daily tracking March 20-21, 2013, with a random sample of 1,020 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.