Poll: GOP Voters More Flexible on Abortion, Climate, Gay Marriage, and Min Wage Than Dems

Rothman: Poll Shows GOP Voters More Flexible on Abortion and Climate Than Dems 

The conventional wisdom being bandied about in the press is that Republican office holders, reflecting the views of their constituents, are obstinate, uncompromising, and backward-thinking. A recent CBS News/New York Times poll found, however, that precisely the opposite is the case. On a range of issues, that survey found that partisan Republican voters are more willing to compromise a range of issues than their Democratic counterparts.

CBS/NYT pollsters asked Republican, Democratic, and independent voters if it was “possible” for them to consider voting for a candidate that did not share their view on a variety of issues. On subjects ranging from same-sex marriage rights, to global warming, to abortion rights, Republican voters expressed more willingness to vote for a candidate that did not share their views than did Democratic voters.

On the issue of global warming, 56 percent of Republican respondents said they would consider voting for a candidate that did not reflect their views on that issue. Only 44 percent of Democratic respondents said the same. On same-sex marriage, 47 percent of Republicans said that they would support a candidate whose views did not mirror their own. 43 percent of Democrats agreed.

On increasing the federal minimum wage, 59 percent of Republicans said they would consider supporting the candidate who does not reflect their views. 45 percent of Democrats would do the same. Finally, on the issue of abortion rights, Republicans again proved to be more flexible than Democrats. 42 percent of GOP voters said they would vote for a candidate who does not comport with their preferences on that issue. Only 36 percent of Democrats agreed.

Only on the issues of immigration reform and the Affordable Care Act did Democrats prove more flexible than Republicans, and not by much. 41 percent of Republicans said they would consider voting for a candidate who does not support their position on reforming the nation’s immigration system issue while 47 percent of Democrats said they would consider voting for a candidate whose views did not reflect their own.

On the ACA, by far the most polarizing issue put to voters in this CBS/NYT poll, just 27 percent of GOP voters conceded they would consider supporting a candidate who did not reflect their views. 33 percent of Democrats said the same. 67 percent of Republicans and 64 percent of Democrats told pollsters that they would not support a candidate who does not share their views on the ACA.

Slightly ironically, the poll also found that huge majorities of both Democrats (93 percent) and Republicans (76 percent) agreed that elected officials should “compromise some of their positions” in order to get things done in Washington. Based on the findings above, most were probably thinking that compromise should begin with the other guy.

This survey was conducted from February 19 – 23, 2014 of 1,644 adults and has a margin of error of +/- 3.0 percent.

Read the full poll results via the New York Times

[Photo via AP]

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An experienced broadcaster and columnist, Noah Rothman has been providing political opinion and analysis to a variety of media outlets since 2010. His work has appeared in a number of political opinion journals, and he has shared his insights with television and radio personalities across the country.