Washington (CNN) – A plurality of Americans disapprove of how President Barack Obama is handling debt ceiling negotiations, but Congress fares much worse, according to a new national survey.
A CBS News Poll released Monday morning indicates that 48 percent of the public gives the president a thumbs down on how he's handling talks with federal lawmakers on raising the nation's debt limit, with 43 percent saying they approve of how Obama's handling negotiations.
But only 31 percent of people questioned say they approve of how Democrats in Congress are dealing with the talks, with 58 percent saying they disapprove. And by a 71 to 21 percent margin, the public disapproves of how Republicans in Congress are handling the negotiations.
According to a release from CBS News, 51 percent of Republicans give a thumbs down to how members of their own party are handling the talks, with far fewer Democrats questioned disapproving of how congressional Democrats (32 percent) or Obama (22 percent) are dealing with the negotiations.
The poll's release comes as the president and congressional leaders continue to try and find common ground on any deal to raise the debt ceiling. While discussions continued over the weekend after the last full negotiating session Thursday, no significant progress has occurred and the chances for a comprehensive deficit deal sought by Obama in coming weeks appear remote.
Without a major deal, Congress would have to focus instead on a smaller agreement to raise the debt ceiling or face the unprecedented situation in 16 days of the government not having enough money to pay all its bills. The debt ceiling has reached its $14.3 trillion legally permitted maximum.
The Obama administration has warned that not raising the debt ceiling could have dangerous consequences for the economy and that the government might not be able to make Social Security payments to Americans. The survey indicates that some are skeptical, with 36 percent saying the White House is making things sound worse than they would be if the debt ceiling is not raised. But four in ten say the administration is accurately describing the impact of not raising the debt ceiling, with 14 percent saying the White House is making things sound better than they would be. There's an expected partisan divide, with independent voters divided on the question.
According to the survey, two-thirds of Americans think there probably will be an agreement on the debt ceiling before the August 2 deadline.
The CBS News Poll was conducted July 15-17, with 810 adults nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus four percentage points.
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