NU Online News Service, Jan. 7, 2005, 4:15 p.m. EST

Polls may encourage lawmakers to try to mend fences in Washington this year.[@@]

Some very conservative talk show hosts have been questioning whether liberal Democrats have a right to express their opinions about topics such as the war in Iraq, and some Democrats have questioned the validity of the election results that returned President Bush to the White House.

But most U.S. voters want to see elected officials find ways to compromise to work for the good of the nation, according to Zogby International, Utica, N.Y.

When Zogby researchers polled 944 likely voters in December, they found that 98% of the voters agreed with the position that, “I want my elected officials to work toward the good of the nation, rather than the good of their party.”

The researchers also found that 89% of the survey participants said President Bush should “reach out to people and organizations that did not support him,” and 91% agreed that “a member of the political party to which you do not belong can be a patriot.”

About 88% of the participants agreed that both the “winners and losers have an equal responsibility to create a more cooperative atmosphere.”