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Voters Hate Partisan Sniping, But Fuel Its Growth

WASHINGTON -- People say they don't like partisan gridlock in Washington. But they're voting in ways almost certain to increase it.

In recent elections, Democratic voters ousted one of Congress' best-known centrists, Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, and forced another, Sen. Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, into a difficult primary runoff.

Republican activists ended the career of conservative Sen. Bob Bennett of Utah in part because he had worked with a Democrat on a health care bill.

In Arizona, they have sent a once-famous maverick, Sen. John McCain, scurrying to the right to save his political skin.

Efforts to develop new energy, immigration and other policies have stalled largely because of partisan divisions, especially in the Senate.


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