Poll: GOP to get more blame than Obama if fiscal cliff talks fail
December 4th, 2012
10:16 AM ET
1 year ago

Poll: GOP to get more blame than Obama if fiscal cliff talks fail

Washington (CNN) - A second national poll indicates more Americans would blame Congressional Republicans than President Barack Obama if negotiations to keep the country from falling off the "fiscal cliff" fail.

A Washington Post/Pew Research Center survey released Tuesday morning also indicates 49% of Americans predict the president and Republicans in Congress will not reach an agreement to prevent the automatic spending cuts and tax increases that would kick in at the end of the year, with four in ten saying a deal will be reached.

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Last year Congress and President Barack Obama agreed to a program to reduce the federal deficit that some people refer to as the "fiscal cliff." Unless Congress and the President reach an agreement before January 1, tax rates will automatically rise next year for nearly all Americans and major spending cuts will automatically begin to kick in for most government spending programs, including military programs.

If there's no deal, according to the poll, by a 53%-27% margin people say Congressional Republicans will be more at blame than Obama, with 12% saying both sides should be equally blamed. Among independent voters, 52% would blame Republicans and 21% would point fingers at the president.

A CNN/ORC International survey released last week indicated more Americans would blame the GOP in Congress (45%) rather than Obama (34%) if the fiscal cliff provisions actually go into effect next year.

Fifty-seven percent of those questioned in the Washington Post/Pew Research Center poll say they understand “very well or fairly well” what would happen in January if the automatic spending cuts and tax increases go into effect. Nearly two-thirds say such spending cuts and tax increases would have a major effect on the country's economy, and 84% say those effects would be mostly negative.

Forty-three percent say if the country falls off the fiscal cliff, it would have a major impact on their personal financial situation, with 35% saying there would just be a minor effect.

The Washington Post/Pew Research Center poll was conducted November 29-December 2, with 1,003 adults nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.


Filed under: Fiscal Cliff
soundoff (331 Responses)
  1. Laverne

    Remember Polls mean nothing to the GOP, apparently the dems cooked the books on this one too! American's generally like a "check and balance" approach when it comes to Washington, however, if the republicans don't get their act together they will be needing a job from Grover Norquist besides being his puppet!

    December 4, 2012 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  2. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    It boggles me that NONE of you media outlets emphasize that $1 TRILLION in cuts have already been made to entitlement programs. I don't see any SHARED SACRIFICE. The middle class and the porr are the one's being stuck flipping this bill. It's not FAIR!!! The blame belongs to the GOP if we go over the cliff. If they were serious about compromise, they would extend the Bush tax cuts for the 98%. Let's not forget that the GOP is responsible for our credit downgrade that occured last year. Everytime I hear Erin Burnett say "it's been "x" amount of days since we lost our AAA credit rating & what are we doing to get it back," she needs to be directing that question solely to the GOP since they're the one's responsible for the downgrade.

    December 4, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  3. anonoymous

    The old play book is not gonna work this time. The president is not running for re election so the republicans whos goal was to make him a one term president that didnt work. Now the people are watching them. Trying to make the president look bad only shows us that we dont have the right people making decisions for us. We the people re elected the president. The one's who dont get the program will find themselves spending their time talking to Romney about the good ole days.

    December 4, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  4. Expat American

    As it should be...and as is should be remembered in 2014 and 2016. The GOP doesn't care about working Americans; they only care about regaining power, obstructing progress and their fascist bigot Tea Party Collaborator Fringe.

    December 4, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  5. Facts don't Lie

    the Republicans appear to me to either be tone deaf or just refuse to step outside of the FoxNews rightwing bubble that they live in. What part of the polling that shows that a majority of Americans FAVOR higher taxes on the upper 1% you know the ones that can afford it and not even miss it do they not understand? Even some Republicans are now on the record speaking out saying it looks bad for the GOP because it appears that they are protecting the rich. Heck you even have rich people say TAX US MORE we can handle it. Corporations under Obama are making profits left and right and many are still not hiring or either not raising employee wages allowing the income gap to keep rising. Yet we have some so-called Tea Party people who's taxes are as low as they been since maybe the 50's crying about taxes going up on a class of people that looks down on them anyway. Makes no sense to me. Maybe they are so afraid of Rush Limbaugh seeing he would be one of the folks who's taxes would go up that they are taking such a stand.

    December 4, 2012 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  6. sonny chapman

    Polls , Science & Math are meaningless to Repubs. Remember, George W. said he was guided by his "gut" reaction. Most Advanced Civilizations rely on other body parts for reasoning.

    December 4, 2012 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  7. Mark in Seattle

    GOP needs to go!

    December 4, 2012 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  8. rainystein

    This is soooo funny! Every problem that the liberal sees is because of the conservatives... We're already going off the fiscal cliff and most don't even realize it... We've already passed Greece on National Gross Debt! There are 21 taxes in the Health Care Law and 12 of them will hit the middle class... The president who added the biggest tax increase to Americans, but no one blames him... Imagine that! If I remember correctly, the democrats pushed that tax bill down our throats without bothering to read what was in it... (majority was democrat in house and senate) Remember Pelosi's words, "We can find out what's in it AFTER we sign it." Taxes will increase in January and double the following January... But hey, lets not report the facts... Blame the conservatives... and lets not talk about the 4.8 billion dollars spent on illegal aliens every year while they are sending money back to their families in Mexico, that would be racist... The system is broke, but it's not the conservatives causing it... You can't borrow and spend without consequence... Adding tax to the wealthy will not fix it either... The amount collected, if taxes were added to the rich, would cover 3 days spending for the government and in their minds, justify spending more... and of course, the liberals don't blame Obama, they worship him! Let's forget that not one senator or congressman voted for his own budget... not a liberal or conservative... not even one! Lol...

    December 4, 2012 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  9. judy

    of course they will be blamed. They don't seem to get it. The American people voted and the repos are still clinging to the no tax for the rich idea. They are afraid of grover and he keeps threating them . Their latest proposal cuts into social security and raises the age limit . Most are retiring at 66 and 65 now . what next. Lets just work till we drop. ? Vote all these clowns out at mid term.

    December 4, 2012 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  10. scoto

    I see never -ending political wilderness for GOP unless somebody starts facing reality in that bunch. 5 easy steps to rehabilitation
    a) Disown Norquist
    b) Disown the poison of Limbaugh
    c) Disown Fox news – a national embarassment
    d) Embrace science and intellectualism and distance themselves from religious zealots
    e) Endorse gay rights and immigration reform

    I guess though that would make them Democrats?

    December 4, 2012 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  11. General Specific

    Who cares. We have a society who props up a political system that is excellent at inaction, blaming, and legacy building as opposed to getting anything meaningful done.

    December 4, 2012 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  12. Anonymous

    Repubs should be blamed – thay only care about 2% of our country

    December 4, 2012 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  13. brendan

    Lot of extreme left winger on CNN these days. When the president is demanding unilateral control over the debt and NO spending decreases it time to take a more critical look at who is to blame.

    December 4, 2012 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  14. Michael

    If talks fail I WILL change my lifetime affiliation with the GOP. Period. I've been watching the GOP self-destruct over the years. It's time to leave the party.

    Sorry GOP, I can't work with you anymore.

    December 4, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  15. AnAmerican

    Some things never change, folks.
    The liberals will never take any ownership and always seem to blame someone else.
    Our President, during a very difficult time when action and fair dealing is required, goes into hiding. Proof again he follows and does not know how to lead.
    Come on children wake up and be an adult. If the GOP is offering to collect taxes off the 2% why do you care how, they will pay. But it's "not what I asked for or from" like I want your money but I asked for it to come from this account not that one.
    The ones who will suffer the most under another fours of Obama will be hios giggest supports. Obama's Greece plan worked so well over there.

    December 4, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  16. Mary1972

    The old GOP tactics of blaming Obama is not going to work this time. Obama is not running for re election and he has nothing to lose now. People are watching the "Do Nothing Congress". People elected Obama for the second term and the congress if they don't get the message will find themselves in the same straits as Romney.

    December 4, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  17. ray

    They should get more of the blame. They filibustered, pouted, grouched, obstructed and generally opposed all ideas and were and still are anti compromise.

    December 4, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  18. LarryB

    In their quest to protect the 2% who are their real benefactors, the GOP is quite willing to throw the vast majority of the rest of us under the bus. If that party wants to commit political suicide, no one can stop them.

    December 4, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  19. Joe

    This is ridiculous.

    If the talks fall, taxes go up on the rich and the middle class, and the sequester happens. Then we actually have reform in DC. So why is the talk failing a bad thing? If all taxes go up how hard would it be easy for congress to pass tax cuts just for the middle class then? I'd say pretty darn easy. We all know Democrats never cut anything so that will remedy itself eventually.

    If the talks fail America wins, and taxes would only be raised for maybe a month (if that).

    December 4, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  20. Critical Thinking

    What people don't recognize is that Americans hates the repulicans in Congress, except for the one that continually elect them to put the brakes on liberal spending. It happen in 2010 ans it will happen to an even greater degree in 2014. But I'm sure the President will get equal credit in the short term if this country goes into a recession and will get the long term historical credit for the action as well. It will be interesting to see if the President will post poned his 3 week Hawaii tax payer vacation to help avoid this event. My guess is that he will send Michelle, the kids and other relatives over to Hawaii on our dime and then have Air Force One flown back to pick him up later thereby doubling the cost of this most expensive trip to us tax payers, but Im sure all you liberals out there will find this the best use of tax payer funds. Elections have consequences, we had the election and now here comes your consequences.

    December 4, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  21. Facts don't Lie - Indeed

    Raising the tax rates on the upper class is NOT going to produce the results like people think. As proven in other countries when tax rates are raised on the wealthy, both wealthy Republicans AND Democrats either leave the country all together, or find other creative ways to shield their income/earnings. So raising the tax rates is not going to produce the desired effect. Why not focus on the % of Americans who DON'T PAY TAXES at all!!.... including many who actually work for our government agencies! We have some control over those not paying taxes v. the wealthy who will leave our country or find ways to hide their earnigns.

    My husband is a small business owner. And if they raise our taxes, we will have LESS MONEY to pour into his business, which means fewer jobs created or no pay raises for his employees. Is that really the result that you all want?

    December 4, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  22. Orlando

    Here is a president who ran on hope and change; he claimed there were no red or blue states–only a United States. But what we get is a blame and class warfare president who shows he is an utter failure at bringing people together. All you have to do is read the hate-filled posts here to get your proof.

    December 4, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  23. Anonymous

    It amazes me totally that people are NOT getting the big picture here! Even if the tax rate were raised to 75% for the wealthy, this would not even begin to balance the books. There is still going to be about 900 billion a year or more unanswered for. What do we do about this? How does this resolve without reducing spending? People are only talking about revenue and not about a major part of this bad situation, which is spending!

    December 4, 2012 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  24. grace

    baaa baaa! Obama good, Republicans baaad! baaaa!

    December 4, 2012 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  25. Lynda/Minnesota

    "If there's no deal, according to the poll, by a 53%-27% margin people say Congressional Republicans will be more at blame than Obama, with 12% saying both sides should be equally blamed. Among independent voters, 52% would blame Republicans and 21% would point fingers at the president."

    Elections have consequences. Apparently GOPers aren't paying attention now anymore than they did before Obama was reelected.

    Too much FOX News echo chamber bubbles, I suspect.

    December 4, 2012 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
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