January 3, 2011
Republicans say they will follow "the people's priorities" when they gain power on Capitol Hill next month. Yet when it came to tax cuts for the wealthy and other top issues that dominated the just concluded lame-duck Congress, the GOP either defied what most Americans want or followed their will only after grudging, drawn-out battles.
"These are red-meat Republican issues," said Timothy Nokken, a political science professor at Texas Tech University who studies Congress.
Also making opposition easier for Republicans was their realization that despite the broad backing those issues have, they don't drive the votes of many people.
"Even though there is support for START and repeal of 'don't ask don't tell,' these are not primary core issues for voters, and there's little harm that could come to them by opposing those two," said Republican consultant Steve Lombardo.