Does it seem to you that the current "no compromise" partisan nature of our multi-party political system too often gets in the way of progress in Congress? Well, you are far from alone, as a new Gallup poll shows a record-high 38% of Americans now favor system under which the same party would control the presidency and Congress.
The Gallup poll of 1,017 U.S. adults, an all-time low 23% said it would be better if the White House and Congress were controlled by different parties, while 33% said political control made no difference.
As Gallup analyst Andrew Dugan wrote, "While Americans tend to lean toward one-party government over divided government in presidential election years, this year finds the biggest gap in preferences for the former over the latter and is a major shift in views from one year ago."
In 2011, only 28% of those polled supported same-party control, while 29% favored control by different parties and 39% said it made no difference.
Also See: What About Third Parties?
Interestingly, the lowest level of support for one party control has come in years like 2006 and 2010, when the same party actually did controlled both Congress and the presidency. According to Mr. Dugan, this "suggests Americans may simply tend to prefer what they don't have or see problems in whatever the current situation is."
The only time a plurality of Americans has favored a divided government since Gallup started asking the question in 2003 came in 2005, when 36% preferred divided control, compared to only 29% who preferred same-party control.
Are Democrats Frustrated?
The latest poll showed that by a margin of 49% to 36%, Democrats were more likely that Republicans to favor a one-party government. According to Dugan, this may indicate that many Democrats are frustrated by President Obama's difficulties in enacting his legislative agenda while Republicans control the House of Representatives. In addition, suggests Dugan, "Democrats are more likely than Republicans to express faith in the federal government's ability to handle domestic problems."
What Gallup does not address is how, given our current system of mid-term congressional elections, we could ever ensure same party control of Congress and the presidency, if... we even wanted to.