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December 1, 2023

Dems, GOP both see their inability to agree as a problem. They disagree on everything else.

Dems, GOP both see their inability to agree as a problem. They disagree on everything else.

By Mark Murray and Alexandra Marquez

Equal shares of Democrats and Republicans agree that the two parties’ ability — or inability — to work together is a very big problem.

But they don’t find common ground on just about everything else.

That’s the finding of a new Pew Research Center poll, which shows sizable partisan gaps over which issues Democrats and Republicans consider to be the biggest concerns facing the nation today.

On inflation, 77% of Republican respondents say it is a very big problem (compared with 52% of Democrats who agree).

That’s followed by 72% of Republicans who say the federal budget deficit is a significant problem (versus 39% of Democrats).

And 70% of GOPers say illegal immigration is a big problem (versus 25% for Democrats).

Meanwhile, the biggest concerns for Democrats are gun violence (81% of them say this, versus 38% of Republicans), the affordability of health care (73% for Democrats versus 54% for Republicans) and climate change (64% for Democrats versus 14% for Republicans).

Additionally, 55% of Democrats say racism is a very big problem, compared with only 14% of Republicans who agree.

The one significant exception to those partisan divides is how people feel about the two parties’ ability to work together.

Sixty-three percent of Republicans say the ability of the parties to work together is a very big problem in the country today, and 62% of Democrats agree.

The Pew poll also finds President Joe Biden’s approval rating at 35% approve, 62% disapprove — essentially unchanged from March.

It shows that 70% of Americans, including 80% of Republicans and 61% of Democrats, believe the federal budget deficit will grow in the next five years.

And it has Democrats holding the advantage over Republicans on climate change, abortion and health care, while the GOP has the edge on the economy, crime and immigration.

The online Pew Research Center poll was conducted June 5-11, and it has an overall margin of error of plus-minus 1.7 percentage points.

Mark Murray

Mark Murray is a senior political editor at NBC News.

Alexandra Marquez

Alexandra Marquez is a researcher for the political unit.

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