Poll: Government More Effective Without Political Extremists

| by Ethan Brown
U.S. Congress.U.S. Congress.

A new poll conducted by Reuters-Ipsos shows that Americans believe the U.S. Congress is the most effective when political “extremists” from both parties have less influence in the day-to-day operations of the nation.

Although the new Congress has been the most productive in years, the majority of voters still hold negative feelings about the chamber.

In the poll, 57 percent of respondents said Congress was the most effective when “the extremists on either side don’t have as much leverage” with 22 percent believing otherwise, Reuters wrote.

Americans involved in the political process were interviewed on their beliefs, with some wishing for a return to the days of bipartisanship.

“It’s much too polarized, too political now. Once, when somebody was elected to Congress, they would work with the opposite party to try to make things better for their country. Now they seem more focused on their party than the needs of the people,” said Penny Mahar, a voter from Whitesboro, New York who is registered as an Independent.

Since Republicans took back control of the Senate and increased their majority in the House of Representatives, many pieces of legislation have passed with relatively little controversy. Just this week, both Republicans and Democrats agreed to pass legislation that would give Congress authority on the ongoing peace talks between the U.S. and Iran.

Still, 53 percent of those polled said they still held an unfavorable view of Congress, while 47 percent had a more positive perspective of the legislative chamber.

“Despite a more polarized electorate, voters tend to be more moderate than the politicians that they elect to Congress. So it makes sense that a majority would say that Congress is more effective when extremists are marginalized,” Sarah Binder, a political science professor at George Washington University, told The Huffington Post.

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Sources: Reuters, The Huffington Post

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons