- The Washington Times - Monday, December 1, 2014

As Democrats and Republicans try to chart respective paths forward after this year’s midterms, nearly three-quarters of adults say the elections were more of a rejection of Democratic policies than they were a mandate for the GOP’s priorities.

Seventy-four percent of Americans say the Republican victories are more of a rejection of Democratic policies, compared to 16 percent who say they’re a mandate for Republican policies, according to a new CNN/ORC poll.

That number is even higher than in 2010, when 70 percent saw the midterms, in which the GOP retook control of the House, as a rejection of Democrats, compared to 17 percent who saw them as more of a mandate for Republicans.

And after the 2006 midterms in which Democrats retook control of the House and Senate, 64 percent saw the elections as more of a rejection of Republicans, compared to 27 percent who saw them as more a mandate for Democrats.

That means while voters appear to have rejected the agenda of President Obama and his party in the midterms, the GOP could have a ways to go toward convincing the country to side with its priorities.

Fifty percent of Americans think it will be bad for the country that Republicans will control both the House and Senate, compared to 44 percent who think it will be good for the country.

By comparison, in 2010, 52 percent thought it would be good that the Republican party would control the House and in 2006, two-thirds thought it would be good that Democrats would be in control of Congress.

Forty-one percent have a favorable impression of the Republican party, compared to 52 percent who have an unfavorable one — actually a dramatic improvement from Oct. 2013, when the GOP had a 30 percent/64 percent favorable/unfavorable split.

Meanwhile, 44 percent of Americans have a favorable impression of the Democratic party, compared to 50 percent who have an unfavorable one — in line with numbers from Oct. 2013.

And 48 percent have a favorable opinion of President Obama, compared to 51 percent who have an unfavorable opinion.

Fifty-two percent predict there will be more gridlock between Congress and the Obama administration after this year’s midterms - a similar figure to the 56 percent in 2006 who thought there would be more gridlock between a Democratic Congress and the George W. Bush administration.

The survey of 1,045 adults was taken from Nov. 21-23 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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