Two Cheers for Divided Government. (Opinion Pulse)
Bowman, Karlyn, The American Enterprise
Divided control of government in Washington has been the rule for most of the past 50 years, and Americans appear to like it that way. When the pollsters ask about divided government in general terms, people are split. But when pollsters raise the issue of checks and balances, people prefer divided government. Several pollsters have asked questions about the issue of leadership during wartime. People prefer divided government in this circumstance, too.
Question: Do you think it is better for the country to have ...? A President from one party and Congress controlled by another 42% A President who comes from the same political party that controls Congress 43 Source: The Gallup Organization for CNN and USA Today, April 2002. Note: Table made from bar graph. Question: Which of the following statements is closer to your point of view ...? To get more things done, I would like to see a Congress and a President of the same party 36% I prefer the President and Congress to be of different parties, because that way they can balance each other out 56 Source: The Tarrance Group and Lake, Snell & Perry, June 2002. Note: Table made from bar graph. Question: As you may know, the Congress and the Presidency are controlled by different parties. Do you think ...? Divided government works well for the country 55% Not sure 8% Does not 37% Source: NBS News/Wall Street Journal, December 1999. …