UPDATED: Congressional GOP "Now Far More Extreme" Than GOP Voters

October 18, 2011 9:43 am ET — Matt Finkelstein

House Speaker John Boehner's (R-OH) claim that the GOP agenda reflects what "the American people are telling us" flies in the face of popular opinion. But it also seems that Boehner & Co. are not even listening to what the Republican people are telling them — unless those people also happen to be Wall Street bankers, lobbyists, or the super-rich. Steve Benen digs into the latest CNN poll and finds that the GOP agenda is out of step swith what self-identified Republican voters support:

Here, for example, is the breakdown of what self-identified Republican voters think of the components of President Obama's American Jobs Act, as it currently exists in the U.S. Senate:

Do you favor or oppose "cutting the payroll tax for all American workers"?

Republicans in favor: 58%
Republicans opposed: 40%

Do you favor or oppose "providing federal money to state governments to allow them to hire teachers and first responders"?

Republicans in favor: 63%
Republicans opposed: 36%

Do you favor or oppose "increasing federal spending to build and repair roads, bridges, and schools"?

Republicans in favor: 54%
Republicans opposed: 46%

Do you favor or oppose "increasing federal aid to unemployed workers"?

Republicans in favor: 36%
Republicans opposed: 63%

Do you favor or oppose "increasing the taxes paid by people who make more than one million dollars a year"?

Republicans in favor: 56%
Republicans opposed: 43%

Remember, overall, each of these ideas enjoy broad national support, but I'm highlighting the opinions of Republicans only. And in four of the five key parts to the Democratic plan, self-identified GOP voters approve of Obama's ideas, in some cases by wide margins.

Some people say that Republican leaders are more reasonable than they let on, but they have to resist compromising on major initiatives in order to satisfy conservative voters. As Benen notes, though, congressional Republicans are "now far more extreme than [their] own supporters."


UPDATE: Despite their support for elements of the American Jobs Act, Republican voters are still rooting against the president and, by extension, the economy. In response to the question "In general, do you hope that Barack Obama's policies will succeed, or do you hope that they will fail?" a majority of self-identified Republicans said they were rooting for failure:

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