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Many Americans Are Weirdly Indifferent About How the Federal Government Is Controlled

This is a poll answer that has always confused me. Apparently a plurality of Americans, 37 percent, still thinks it makes no difference if the federal government is controlled by one party or is divided. From Gallup:

Divided vs. One-Party Governement in U.S.

I find this so perplexing because I don’t know how you could have watched the past six years and come to this conclusion. When Democrats were in full control of D.C. they adopted several big bills. You might love these bills or hate them but they had a significant impact. After Republicans won the House and we got divided government almost nothing happened. So little was done legislatively they actually shut the government down.

Depending on your policy preference you could argue that no big bills is better than the Democratic bills we were getting, but I can’t understand how you think it makes no difference at all.

I consider this poll a strong validation of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s strategy in 2010. Many Americans aren’t paying much attention to Congress and don’t fully understand how policy is made, so if anyone in Congress gums up the works the President will get most of the blame.

This poll is also a reminder that our election/political system is very poorly set up for democratic accountability in an age of disciplined political parties.

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Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at