“It takes two to be bipartisan…”

The Monkey Cage blog recently reported a summary of a recent research study on the effect of presidential bipartisan rhetoric on a president’s public approval. The bottom line finding is that a president’s approval does not increase in the face of bipartisan rhetoric unless the other side responds in a bipartisan fashion as well. From the paper:

The implications from our findings suggest that discussion of bipartisanship is not an empty exercise. Presidents can improve their own approval for all respondents when their message is viewed in isolation but the effect is much greater when paired with a bipartisan message from the opposition…Yet, it takes two to be bipartisan. The opposition party can hurt the approval of the sitting president if they reject bipartisan advances with a partisan response.

A more extensive summary of the paper is available here:

http://www.themonkeycage.org/2011/01/does_it_help_the_president_to_.html

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