Poll: Public concern over effects of the 'fiscal cliff'
November 13th, 2012
04:16 PM ET
1 year ago

Poll: Public concern over effects of the 'fiscal cliff'

(CNN) – While Republicans and Democrats have expressed confidence in their ability to negotiate a deal to avoid the so-called "fiscal cliff," a new poll released Tuesday indicates the public is wary about lawmakers' ability to reach a common ground on the nation's budget.

In a post-election survey concerning the fiscal cliff conducted by Pew Research Center, about half of respondents believe Congress will fail to reach an agreement to reduce the nation's deficit compared to only 38% who said a deal will be met. If the two sides fail to find common ground on reducing the deficit, 53% said congressional Republicans will be to blame while 29% said the responsibility falls on President Barack Obama.

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Congress has until the end of the year to negotiate a deal to cut the nation's budget in order to prevent tax cuts from expiring for middle-income Americans and automatic, across-the-board cuts in federal spending. Obama and Democrats have generally advocated for raising taxes on wealthier Americans while many Republicans believe the cuts should come from reducing federal spending.

Sixty-eight percent of those surveyed said the automatic tax increases and spending cuts would have a significant effect on the economy while 44% said it would have a major effect their own financial situations.

Sixty-two percent said the impact of the fiscal cliff on the economy would be negative and 60% said it would negatively affect their own financial situation.

Republicans were more skeptical than Democrats over lawmakers' ability to negotiate a deal. Sixty-six percent of Republican respondents do not think a deal will be met compared to 25% of respondents identifying with the GOP who said Congress will reach a deal.

For their part, Democrats are more evenly split on whether budget negotiations will be reached – 47% think a deal will be reached while four in ten do not.

If a budget deal is not met and the U.S. economy is left to roll off the impending fiscal cliff, 85% of Democrats and 52% of independents said Republicans will be to blame while 68% of Republicans said the responsibility falls on the president.

The Pew Research Center/Washington Post poll was conducted by telephone from November 8-11 among a sample of 1,000 adults. The poll's sampling error is plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.


Filed under: 2012 • Fiscal Cliff
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Canuck

    "53% said congressional Republicans will be to blame "

    The Repubs seem to be quite happy to be taking suicidal positions of late. The rest of us are quite happy about that.

    November 13, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  2. just sayin

    but it is the fiscal cliif that obama and the democrats have set us up for. they spent years doing it. now they will get all the tax money they have been clamoring for. why aren't they jumping for joy? obama was complaining that the private sector was doing fine but the governemnt sector was hurting. all this tax money should give it a good shot in the arm. the us economy will be shooting to the moon, right?

    November 13, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  3. Wire Palladin, S. F

    Let all the Bush tax cuts expire, as they did not create any jobs. 'Fiscal Cliff' is a way for right wingnuts to make a mountain out of a molehill.

    November 13, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  4. sonny chapman

    Those who identify themselves as Dems. have more faith in the better angels of mankind.

    November 13, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  5. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    If the two sides fail to find common ground on reducing the deficit, 53% said congressional Republicans will be to blame
    -------------------------------------------------
    I find it quite telling and immensely refrshing and reassuring to see my fellow Americans placing the blame on the do-nothing Republicans in Congress that we have suffered for the last 4 years.
    I am gratified that we are no longer willing to stand by and give them a pass on behaviour that not only completely idsregarded the oath that they took to serve us and look after the interests of the nation, but also on their lack of respect to the office of the President.
    The presidential election has flipped the script and turned the page on Republicans. Americans in the majority spoke loud and clear. They support the President, his agenda and the direction he is taking the country, and woe to any obstructionist going under the name of Rethuglikkklan that tries to thwart that FORWARD movement.
    Here then is your first test Rethugs.
    If you don't think that the President, after four years of tolerating your disdain, holds the upper hand then you're fooling yourselves again just like you did with the election.

    November 13, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  6. Rick 7809

    Sixty-eight percent of those surveyed said the automatic tax increases and spending cuts would have a significant effect on the economy while 44% said it would have a major effect their own financial situations.

    How do you know that any of these folks surveyed actually know what tax gets increased or what spending gets cut.

    November 13, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  7. jkane sfl gop mascots the blubbering slobs allen west rover nitwitquest rick scott ,carl rove and donald trump ??????

    In my house if you don't bring home a paycheck ,revenue, go grocery shopping , spending and the bills a little higher ,and you have electric ,gas , rent ,these are necessary expenditures to run a household or country . So if you don't have enough money to cover these expenses, you might have a defict . So what would you do . You would go get another partime job to increase revenue to cover the shortfall, so raise taxes on the rich who park their money off shore and keep our goverment running , or move to somila where they have no taxes ,or Texas ,I heard they might be leaving us . The job creators that don't exist and have done nothing need to pay more ,
    Now !!!!!!

    November 13, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  8. TAK

    We would not be facing this "fiscal cliff" if Paul Ryan had bargained with the Dems of the Super-Committee in good faith and not had his Republican committee members walk out of negotiations.

    I am glad to see that most sensible Americans will justly hold Ryan and the rest of the Republicans responsible for this entire fiasco.

    November 13, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  9. myviewis

    Dominican mama 4 Obama
    If you don't think that the President, after four years of tolerating your disdain, holds the upper hand then you're fooling yourselves again just like you did with the election.
    ----------------------------------

    You really believe President Obama was willing to tolerate anything?????? Seriously, he just had no idea what he was or is doing.

    November 13, 2012 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  10. KANSAS DAN

    Are we forever expecting to not face the consequences of our governmental policies and decisions. Do we never reduce the deficit? Is that going to be OK? I know my household has to face our financial realities. It used to be that there were times when one stopped spending and liquidated some items to get back in control and it was not pain free. Are we that weak as a people that we can not deal with a painful reality? Earlier generations were able to suck it up and sacrifice.

    November 13, 2012 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |