Washington (CNN) – A majority of Americans support the payroll tax cut, according to a new national survey.
A CNN/ORC International poll released Tuesday indicates that 54% of the public supports the payroll tax cut for all American workers, with 42% opposed.
The poll's release comes as President Barack Obama stepped up his push to get Congress to extend the payroll tax cut for the rest of the year, arguing that a failure to do so could derail the economic recovery.
"This is a make-or-break moment for the middle class," Obama said at the White House. "The last thing we need is for Washington to stand in the way of America's comeback."
Obama's remarks came one day after House GOP leaders dropped their demand that any extension be offset by spending cuts elsewhere in the budget. The decision was a sharp turnaround for House Republicans, who previously argued that a failure to fully pay for the tax break would be financially reckless.
Despite the fact that Obama has been the principle voice calling for the payroll tax cut, Republicans support the proposal more than Democrats do. Some 59% of Republicans say the payroll tax cut is a good idea; Democrats are evenly divided on the issue.
"Younger Americans are also least likely to support the payroll tax cut idea. It's possible that they see little personal gain from a tax cut since their salaries tend to be lower if they have been able to find work at all, while at the same time the proposal further decreases their perceived chances of ever getting Social Security benefits," CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said.
The CNN poll was conducted by ORC International from February 10-13, with 1,026 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.
- CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.