Polls are helping the administration make its case, people in both parties say. In the latest New York Times/CBS News poll, Americans by a two-to-one ratio say Mr. Obama is trying to work with Republicans, while by more than two-to-one they say Republicans are not reciprocating. As for the deficit, 41 percent say the Bush administration is most to blame, 24 percent say Congress and 7 percent say Mr. Obama.The problem is that there is only one poll that matters. If, as seems likely, Republicans pick up seats in the 2010 elections, then they will see themselves as having been rewarded for not working with Democrats and will have no incentive to change their behavior.
Payback Time - Party Gridlock in Washington Feeds New Fear of a Debt Crisis - Series - NYTimes.com