Poll: Utahns think more bipartisanship is needed

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The $787 billion economic stimulus bill passed the House of Representatives without a single Republican vote today, and although three Republican senators gave the bill the critical support it needed to pass, there are concerns party lines played too much of a part in the vote.

Bipartisanship has been a main push of President Barack Obama's in both the House and Senate, but an online poll for KSL TV shows most Utahns don't think that's happening, and it's becoming a real problem.

Cam Victoria said, "It's disappointing as an American, because I think we need to come together as a country. I think it's time to put down our petty sides."

Ninety-one percent of the Utahns polled in an unscientific poll on KSL.com tonight believe partisanship is a problem in Washington, opinions about the stimulus bill aside. That includes former Senator Jake Garn. He said, "Both sides need to give and cooperate in a crisis like we're experiencing in our economy right now."

He worries the stimulus bill went through too quickly due to political pressure and instead wishes there had been more time for review. He also would have liked to see Obama sit down with both sides.

"If he would say, ‘This is what I want, and I know I can't have it, so let's sit down and I'll give some and you'll give some because I'm not going to give everything to you,'" Garn said.

More than half of those polled tonight feel it's both sides' fault there isn't more bipartisanship. Forty percent blame Democrats, 8 percent fault Republicans.

Colby Lloyd said, "Obama's about working with both parties, and they're not about working with him, and that's sad."

But where there is that confidence, there is also doubt; 89 percent of Utahns think Obama could do more to push for bipartisanship.

Neil Marse said, "He claims to want to unite both parties, but I'm not sure if he does."

President Obama could sign the bill as early as next week, less than one month into office. For more information on where that money is going, check StimulusWatch.org.

E-mail: sdallof@ksl.com

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