Speed Reads

survey says

Americans want Democrats to set environmental policy and Republicans to run the military

Americans will never be happy with Washington, D.C., on an aggregate level, new Gallup poll results suggest, because on average, we'd like to assign different policy arenas to different parties.

On most social and domestic issues, the average American wants Democrats to take the lead. For environmental policy, health care, and education, for example, Americans have a double-digit preference for Democrats. Republicans, meanwhile, score best on handling stuff like foreign policy, immigration, and the economy.

The trouble with this split is twofold: First, it results in the aforementioned average unhappiness, as Washington tends to operate in either gridlock or single-party control, not bipartisan delegation. Second, some of the preferences may not be compatible — like how the average American apparently prefers the lean, limited government Republicans envision while also wanting Democrats' approach to social programs.