CNN Poll: Neither Democrats or GOP have edge in budget battle
March 28th, 2011
11:42 AM ET
3 years ago

CNN Poll: Neither Democrats or GOP have edge in budget battle

Washington (CNN) - A new national poll suggests that neither party has an edge as Congress returns to the nation's capital with the clock ticking towards a possible government shutdown in just a week and a half.

According to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Monday, 46 percent of Americans say they prefer President Barack Obama's approach on budget negotiations, with 45 percent saying they prefer congressional Republicans' approach to the tough choices involved in both cutting programs to reduce the deficit and at the same time maintain needed federal programs.

"The GOP leaders in Congress have a 49 percent to 34 percent advantage among independents, while nearly nine in ten Democrats and Republicans favor their own party's leaders in the budget battle," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Overall, women tend to favor President Obama and men the GOP, but this seems largely due to the fact that women tend to identify with the Democratic party and men tend to identify with the Republicans."

Full results (pdf)

Democrats and Republicans in Congress are still far apart on reaching a deal to fund the government for the remainder of the 2011 fiscal year, which ends September 30. And there seems to be little political appetite to pass another temporary two or three week funding extension, as has been the case the past two months. Without any agreement by Friday April 8, funding would expire and some government offices and services would shutdown.

The poll indicates that only a third of the public approves of how the Democratic leaders in Congress are handling their jobs, and the GOP leaders don't fare any better. Sixty-two percent disapprove of the Democratic congressional leadership, with 64 percent feeling the same way about the GOP leaders in Congress.

According to the survey, more than six in ten Americans think that things are going badly in the country today, an increase in the level of pessimism since January, although still below the levels that polls found in the last half of 2010.

"As Congress comes back into session, Americans are in a bad mood about the state of the country and are taking it out on both parties' leaders in Congress," adds Holland.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey was conducted March 18-20, with 1,012 people questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

– CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report


Filed under: Congress
soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. willie floyd

    I wasn't polled, but add another vote for the pres. from me! That 45% must have been from the Koch Bros. and their bought buddies.

    OBAM/BIDEN2012

    March 28, 2011 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  2. Shawn

    All Republicans do is LIE about spending and the budget and their ideological games are getting very old. Anybody with a brain can see that Bush's radical, irresponsible and unaffordable government giveaways to corporations and millionaires is the problem, not spending. If a Republican is babbling about the budget or the deficit and doesn't support repealing the Bush economy-destroying tax cuts, they aren't serious. They're LYING. Period.

    March 28, 2011 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  3. Dean DC

    Where are the stories on the Army Kill team? Murder and rage inside the army and CNN is deaf to report it. Why, because its BAD news for Obama. this is supposed to be bigger and more vile than Abu Ghareb? So why the wall of silence? Who at CNN needs to be fired? Wolf wheres the special reports?

    March 28, 2011 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  4. Michael

    The picture of Pawlenty on the other ticker article would be perfect if he would only extend the other four fingers.
    Don't worry folks – as soon as the old generation of Republicans dies off, the younger set will fade away. The old ones like the Kocks are evil and smart, whereas the future leaders of the GOP, like Pawlenty and Bachmann, are evil and stupid. It is hard to be patient when life is so short, but in the end America will develop like the rest of the industrialized world, and our children or grandchildren will actually have a good chance at a happy and free life.

    March 28, 2011 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  5. Sniffit

    Don't worry, I am certain the GOP will ramp up its efforts to sell everyone the monkey trap known as trickle-down economics so the ultra-wealthy and corporations can come out of this unscathed with their tax cuts, deductions and loopholes fully intact. There's obviously no reason they should have to make any sacrifices whatsoever to balance the budget and start working on the deficit...that's clearly and solely the job of the middle-class and poor...sacrifices that is. It's what we're here for.

    March 28, 2011 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  6. Rickster

    Not surprising. The democrat game plan for decades has been to make society so dependent on government hand-outs that they will oppose any attempt to rein them in and...here we are. Nearly 50% of the people in the country now receive some form of government hand-out and, lo and behold, nearly 50% of the people oppose making any meaningful cuts.

    March 28, 2011 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  7. DemoCommunists for a Better Way - Steal the Wealth, Bankrupt America

    Of course it is split evenly! The Democrats have created an entitlement society in the USA comprised of HALF of the people that get government money and yet pay no taxes while the other half pay for them and get eaten alive by taxes. They call it "social justice"! For those getting stuck with paying for all the deadbeats, it's called "getting the shaft"!!

    March 28, 2011 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  8. Al-NY,NY

    Right now, since the GOP/T-P'ers ran on the economy, this number bodes pretty well for Obama. If he was doing such a bad job and the GOP'ers were such a medium for "change" it would show as a much more skewed number. Since it is not that, I guess the people are not exactly enamoured with "anything Obama did, we do the opposite"

    March 28, 2011 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  9. Lynda/Minnesota

    "As Congress comes back into session, "

    Pretty much says it all, yes, GOPers? Two weeks on, one week off ought to really get our economy rolling in the next few months, don't you think? Understandably, Boehner needs that additional vacation week each month to get his talking points down pat so the GOPer media blitz can carry on, while also allowing the next two year election cycle to continue it's perpetual nonstop GOPer fundraising events being held every two weeks as have been happening since January. Eventually you'd think even GOPer supporters would get tired of the same old, same old . . . BS . . . but, apparently not.

    March 28, 2011 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  10. terry,va

    It will be a hard sell for the repubs to cut the budget when you have Obummie giving handouts to his folks which is one half the country. Mission accomplished.....Obummie has turned us into a welfare state.

    March 28, 2011 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  11. Joseph-Ohio

    WAKE UP AMERICA!!!! Neither side is seriously trying to fix this problem!!! It is our Country that will be going up in smoke in the next 5-10 years if we do not SERIOUSLY STOP SPENDING SO MUCH MONEY! The time is now! The cuts have to be massive! THE RICH HAVE TO START PAYING THEIR FARE SHARE OF TAXES! We have to cut the fluff out of military spending, and focus such spending on defending the country not keeping paper pushing Civil Service and Gov Contracting employees employed for DoD when all they do is 15 hours of work a week, but get paid for 40. We as a nation, not party members, must face this mess head on. THIS IS NOT A DEMOCRAT OR REPUBLICAN problem and PARTY BICKERING AND FINGER POINTING IS NOT GOING TO FIX AND SAVE OUR CONTRY FINACIALLY!

    March 28, 2011 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  12. Grundoon

    That bad of a rating only 3 months in? Keep it up GOP, please, and those numbers for the GOP wil just keep dropping.

    March 28, 2011 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  13. DemoCommunists for a Better Way - Steal the Wealth, Bankrupt America

    Joseph-Ohio: THE RICH HAVE TO START PAYING THEIR FARE SHARE OF TAXES!
    ==================================================================
    And just how much is that may I ask? They already carry the majority of the tax burden. Should they be taxed at 95%?

    Why can't the half that pay NONE START PAYING THEIR FARE SHARE OF TAXES???

    What you suggest has NOTHING to do with "fairness". It has EVERYTHING to do with the redistribution of wealth.

    March 28, 2011 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    None of this would be happening if there were more jobs....if child support didnt let the dads and moms skate away without paying (massachusetts) and if they didnt make the poor families pay to the rich landlord because theres no rent control on brokendown apartments......i feel like i brought my kids into the world to suffer like i am with this world as it is now......

    March 28, 2011 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  15. PalmReader

    "Nearly 50% of the people in the country now receive some form of government hand-out and, lo and behold, nearly 50% of the people oppose making any meaningful cuts."

    Keep following the GOPer philosophy of trickle down and the rate of government hand-outs will soon go up to 75%. Not much left for we in the middle class to support ourselves and our families with as it is. Do keep taking away more and more in jobs, wages, benefits, and pensions, though, and see how long your idealic land of GOPerville lasts. It nearly destroyed our economy in 2007. Apparently, GOPers are willing to continue the destruction until all are affected, not just the poorest of poor.

    March 28, 2011 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  16. zin

    I love when dems complain that the house repubs havent created more jobs yet. at least they admit that repubs controlling only the house shud be more effective in job creation than a dem house, senate, and President.

    March 28, 2011 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  17. Sniffit

    "eaten alive by taxes"

    Yep...those lowest-in-60-years tax rates sure are what's eating you alive...not that same-as-it-was-40-years-ago middle-class salary. You know, Captian Astroturf, the reason the wealthiest 20% of the populace pays such a higher percentage of the taxes in this country si because (a) that 20% owns almost 90% of the country's wealth and assets (b) the richest 10 percent of families own about 85 percent of all outstanding stocks...they own about 85 percent of all financial securities, 90 percent of all business assets, (c) approximately 43.6 (14.3%) million Americans were living in poverty in 2009, up from 39.8 million (13.2%) in 2008, (d) 1% of the country owns 50%+ of all non-home wealth, etc. etc. etc. E-T-C. You can break these stats down in myriad ways but what it consistently shows is that a very VERY small portion of this country has any real wealth and a very VERY large portion of it has NONE, with stagnant income prospects and mounting consumer debt for homes, cars, education, etc., counterbalancing most gains they could be making. That trend is GROWING and it's time for the redistribution of the country's wealth, assets and income to the already very wealthy to STOP.

    Take your mysanthropy elsewhere.

    March 28, 2011 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  18. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I'd like to see the Democrats allow for some serious cuts in social welfare spending (health care for kids and stuff like that) if the Republicans are going to allow the tax rates on the wealthy to rise now. That is the first step that needs to be taken. I don't see the wealthy really doing enough in this country to support social welfare programs (soup kitchens, homeless shelters, work training programs etc). I fhtat were done, I would support tax cuts because that would mean there would be less for the state and federal governments to spend.

    March 28, 2011 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  19. Sniffit

    "Should they be taxed at 95%?"

    YES. Next question. This isn't about redistributing wealth to the middle-class and poor...it's about stopping the accelerating redistribution of the country's wealth to those who ALREADY own the vast VAST majority of it. THE NUMBERS DON'T LIE.

    March 28, 2011 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    "It has EVERYTHING to do with the redistribution of wealth."

    Yes, indeed it does...redistribution of the country's wealth, assets and income to the very small percentage of the country that already holds the lion's share thereof. THAT IS WHAT HAS BEEN HAPPENING FOR DECADES AND IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW. THE NUMBERS DON'T LIE.

    IT'S TIME FOR IT TO STOP.

    March 28, 2011 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  21. Four and The Door

    But now that the Republicans are driving much of what comes out of congress and Obama is cooperating with their plans, unemployment is dropping and teh economy is improving. Republicans will have plenty of good things to campaign with next year. Voters like results better than promises and excuses.

    March 28, 2011 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  22. Marko

    So half are for one side and half for the other side. Congressman, listen up. There is a long ago forgotten practice that you can use to solve this. It is called, OMG no, not that, yes it is and it is called: Compromise.

    March 28, 2011 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  23. PalmReader

    "Why can't the half that pay NONE START PAYING THEIR FARE SHARE OF TAXES???"

    Probably because their incomes are such that all the tax incentives given to the wealiest of Americans also apply to the the poorest, thereby creating a situation in which AFTER deductions from their adjusted base wage, these one halfs you speak so fondly off, wages aren't sufficient enough to qualify for tax rates . . . let alone living expenses. You would rather take $1,000 in taxes from those earning less than 30,000 so those making 300,000 earned income won't have to pay, what, their share of $6,000 after all the tax incentives are deducted and adjusted from their wages as well?

    March 28, 2011 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  24. ja

    if either was serious, they would eliminate all earmarks, i smell rats on both sides

    March 28, 2011 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  25. gt

    they both stink....

    March 28, 2011 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
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