WASHINGTON (AFP) — US voters want the Republican Party, which took a beating in this week's general elections, to embrace progressiveness and work with Democratic president-elect Barack Obama to get America back on track, a poll showed Friday.
More than three-quarters of 2,000 people surveyed on Tuesday, the day of the historic election which saw Obama become the first African-American elected to the White House, and on Wednesday, said the US has gone "pretty seriously off on the wrong track" and needed change.
Only slightly fewer -- 71 percent -- said Republicans "should give Obama the benefit of the doubt and help him achieve his plans," against 24 percent who said it should oppose the progressive changes proposed by Obama, said the poll by the Campaign for America's Future (CAF) and Democracy Corps.
The dire state of the US economy was the "overwhelming priority of voters," it added.
Poll respondents said they voted for Obama because they believed his plans for fixing the economy, ending the Iraq war and making healthcare more accessible were more likely to work than those of his Republican rival John McCain.
"By nearly three to one, voters think the Republicans should support Obama's policies," Robert Borosage, co-director of CAF told reporters.
Even among Republicans, nearly half -- 45 percent -- thought their party should work with the new Democratic Party president elect and help him bring about change.
"What we have seen is not simply an extraordinary victory for Obama, not just a change election, but a sea-change election," said Borosage.
"Voters have given the Democratic Party a clear mandate for change and progressive leadership. On issue after issue, the voters came out on the progressive side," he said, adding the United States "is increasingly a center-left nation."
As of Friday, Obama had won 364 electoral college votes against 163 for Republican presidential candidate John McCain; 270 electoral college votes are needed to win the White House.
Obama's Democratic Party also gained seats in Congress for the second successive legislative election -- the first time since the Great Depression in the early 20th century that they have achieved that, Borosage said.
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