Washington (CNN) - By a 2-1 margin, Americans want lawmakers in Congress to seek compromise to avoid a government shutdown, according to a new national poll.
The USA Today/Gallup survey also indicated that the public is divided over whether President Barack Obama and Democrats or Republicans in Congress are doing a better job in the battle over the federal budget.
Forty-two percent of people questioned in the poll said that Republicans are doing a better job handling the budget crisis, with 39 percent giving the nod to the president and Democrats and 16 percent unsure. The GOP's 3 point advantage is within the survey's sampling error.
By a 37-33 percent margin, independent voters said that Republicans are doing a better job. One in 4 independents said they were undecided.
The poll indicated that 6 out of 10 want the lawmakers to agree to a compromise, while nearly one-third said that lawmakers should hold out for the basic budget plan they want, even if it means the federal government shuts down. Seven out of 10 Democrats and just over 6 out of 10 independents favor compromise, with Republicans favoring a compromise by a narrower 49-42 percent margin.
The survey indicated that one out of four said that the GOP's budget plans go too far in cutting federal spending, an equal amount said the plan is just right, and 37 percent answered it doesn't cut enough.
Thirteen percent said that the president and Democrats' plan goes to far, 29 percent said it's just right and nearly half answered it doesn't go far enough.
A House Republican bill, which passed the chamber on Saturday by a 235-189 margin, basically along party lines, slashed more than $60 billion in federal funding for the seven months remaining in the 2011 fiscal year. The fight over spending now moves to the Senate, but with Obama threatening to veto the House bill and Senate Democratic leaders calling the GOP's cuts "extreme," the possibility of a government shutdown looms.
Only eight days remain before the current resolution funding federal agencies expires.
The USA Today/Gallup poll was conducted February 22, with 1,004 national adults questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus four percentage points.
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