A recent poll shows that American’s priorities agree more with President Obama’s positions than with the GOP. A Pew Research Center/ USA TODAY poll reveals that the American public believes that Obama has the better approach to immigration, gun control, budget deficit, and climate change than Republicans.
The poll also finds that the majority of Americans believe the federal budget deficit is the most important issue to focus on in the immediate future, followed by gun control, immigration, and climate change. On the budget, 76% believe that the solutions must involve a combination of tax increases and spending cuts, while only 19% believe spending cuts are the solution, which means that even the majority of Republican voters support Obama’s approach to lowering the deficit.
This is a good start to President Obama’s second term, if he can stand firm on his positions. While he has the pubic behind him, he can use their support to put pressure on lawmakers to get legislation passed. Republicans are no longer in a position to claim that their position of solely enacting spending cuts to solve the sequester is representative of pubic opinion.
Unfortunately, if the President’s past is any indicator, he will likely err on the side of compromise, rather than the will of the American public. For example, 92% of the American public wants the President and Congress to develop clean, alternative sources of energy to combat climate change, but the President consistently bows to Republican and industry pressure on the issue. 60% of Americans wanted the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans repealed, yet Obama has repeatedly insisted that this was not an option. There was also the massive healthcare cave-in from Obama and his Democratic colleagues in Congress, when they refused to fight for the majority of Americans who wanted a “public option” included in the Affordable Care Act.
Obama’s promises have always fallen in line with the will of the American public, but he seems to always find a way to disappoint. Perhaps without the fear of reelection, we may see President Obama finally find his backbone and demand that the GOP stay out of the way of the publics’ interests.
Alisha Mims is a writer and researcher for Ring of Fire.