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Survey Reveals Americans Support Checks on Presidential Power, Except When Their Party is in Office

Biden and Trump (Credits: CNN)

Richard Bidon, an 84-year-old Democrat from Los Angeles, expresses a common sentiment among Americans regarding the balance of power in the government.

While many Americans, including Bidon, advocate for a system of checks and balances to prevent any branch from becoming too powerful, this desire often changes depending on which party holds the presidency.

Bidon acknowledges that when a Democrat is in the White House, he supports a strong presidency and unilateral action to enact policies, particularly those addressing issues like climate change. However, when Republicans are in power, he is less enthusiastic about presidential authority, illustrating a partisan shift in views on executive power.

Biden (Credits: CNN)

This sentiment is reflected in a recent poll conducted by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Opinion Research, which found that a good portion of Americans, particularly Republicans, support the idea of a president being able to change policy without waiting for Congress or the courts. While only about two in 10 Americans view this as favorable, nearly six in 10 Republicans would support such unilateral action by a future President Trump.

The increasing polarization in American politics has led to a willingness among the public to push the boundaries of the traditional political framework, which has historically maintained the stability of the nation’s democracy. This trend is further fueled by frustrations with congressional gridlock and the perceived inability of Congress to address pressing issues.

Bob Connor, a former carpenter from Missouri, is among those who have lost hope in congressional action and advocate for decisive presidential action, particularly on issues like border security. He believes that President Biden’s reversal of some of Trump’s border policies has contributed to the current challenges at the border.

Donald J Trump (Credits: CNN)

Joe Titus, a Democrat from Texas, criticizes Republicans in Congress for obstructing legislative action and believes that Biden may need to step in to address the gap left by Congress’s inaction. While he generally opposes expanded presidential power, he would support Biden taking unilateral action on certain issues, such as immigration and aid to Ukraine.

Americans’ views on the balance of power in government are often influenced by their partisan affiliations. While Democrats are more likely to express concerns about the presidency having too much power, Republicans are more inclined to support unilateral action by the president, especially if it aligns with their party’s agenda.

However, the idea of a president with unchecked power remains unpopular among the public, with many emphasizing the importance of congressional approval and judicial oversight, regardless of partisan preferences.

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