Gridlock in Washington, D.C. along with stepped up rhetoric and harsh language in the nation’s capitol are starting to get on the nerves of the American public, according to a new poll.

(Miljan Mladenovic, ThinkStock)

A new national Monmouth University poll released Monday also revealed a lot of Americans believe the country would suffer long-term damage if people who didn’t share their principles got their way in the world of national politics.

“More than 6-in-10 Americans, 62 percent, say that most of their fellow citizens are simply angry with Washington,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute. “Fifty-three percent say that the harsh language used in politics today in unjustified. Only 39 percent say it is justified.”

Republicans were more likely to say the public is mad, but the majority of Democrats and Independents felt the same way while most Americans thought the anger was coming equally from both Parties:

  • 72 percent of Republicans said Americans are angry;
  • 56 percent of Democrats said the same;
  • 61 percent of Independent voters felt that way; and
  • 63 percent said angry Americans came equally from the parties.

“Fifty percent say that there’s a lack of compromise, but 40 percent say that there’s a lack of politicians willing to stand up for their principles,” Murray said.

More than 2-in-3 Democrats said that a lack of compromise is the bigger problem while just 25 percent say it is a lack of principles. A majority (54 percent) of Republicans thought the lack of principles is a bigger problem than the lack of compromise (36 percent).

“Both sides are angry, but they’re angry about different things and it’s not clear how Washington can be fixed when Republicans and Democrats don’t even agree on what the problem actually is,” Murray explained.

Exactly half (50 percent) of the public expressed a lot of concern that the country would suffer lasting damage if people who hold core political principles different from their own were able put their policies in place.

At the very end of his State of the Union Address, President Barack Obama said America needed to return the spirit that helped land men on the moon almost five decades. The poll asked if that spirit could be recaptured today. The responses were:

  • A majority (57 percent) thought it was possible to recapture that spirit
  • Almost 4-in-10 (38 percent) felt those days are over and not coming back

The poll was conducted by telephone from Jan. 15 to 18, 2016 with 1,003 adults in the United States.  This margin of error was + 3.1 percent.

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