Voters these days often reward politicians who sit at either end of the ideological spectrum while punishing those seen as compromisers. iStockphoto.com hide caption

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says covering the uninsured shouldn't be Republicans' top health priority. J. Scott Applewhite/AP hide caption

itoggle caption J. Scott Applewhite/AP

President Obama speaks in the White House's Brady Briefing Room on Tuesday. Behind the president, a ticking clock counts down the time until taxes will go up if Congress can't reach an extension deal on payroll tax cuts. Haraz N. Ghanbari/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Haraz N. Ghanbari/AP