(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.