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. CAV66

    That's pretty cute. We're in charge, but if we fail we get to blame someone else. That is starting to sound very familiar, like the platform that came out of the democratic national convention. Well, I guess it’s been a winning formula so far, so why not go with it? So, the message is, give us more money because we're doing such a good job managing the money you are already giving us? Or is it, give us more money because we will suddenly become more responsible with your money if we can legally take more of it? So, we are going to allow a group of proven fiscal failures (both sides of the aisle) more access to our money on the theory that throwing more money at them will make them more competent? I've got some investment opportunities I'd like to talk to you about if that is what you believe. Unlimited spending without ever taking responsibility for our actions is what got the country so deep in debt that we can't see our way out. Tax and spend, what a revolutionary concept. Pure genius. At least you can blame someone else when it fails again.

    December 4, 2012 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  2. Vince

    American's will blame the Repubs because they are used to them saying "no" over and over again for the past 4 years. We've tried saying no to everything already...it doesn't work. Obama won on his tax plan...he won with a majority of the public. End of story.

    December 4, 2012 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  3. VCMD

    Well done Mr. President! it's fine for people to suffer as long as Republicans get the blame and not you. It will translate in more votes for your party in future! We need all Presidents to be like you.

    December 4, 2012 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  4. DebraW

    Oh no, I lay it squarely on Obama. He put forth a plan that was arrogant and unachievable and is leaving for vacation. He wants the cliff. He wants friction and discourse. He thrives on it, manipulates it to always make himself look noble. He is a fool.

    December 4, 2012 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  5. jamie

    I find it laughable how all of these DEMS act like they know whats best for the GOP and are so willingly to pass their advice on to the GOP. get real and stop reporting what everyone can already hear on every liberal media outlet.

    December 4, 2012 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  6. single mom

    They can raise the tax rates on the 2% to 100% and still not accomplish anything if they don't cut spending. I'm not saying cut what people have put into all their working lives or cut anything to seniors or wounded veterans. We all know that there are billions being wasted. Why on earth is NO ONE on either side bringing that up? Probably because it's 'fat' going to their districts – a hall of fame museum for string, or a study on spiders or something. Let's cut all that out, as well as ALL foreign aid for a couple years. Oh, and how about no more 'retirement' for one term in Congress? Maybe pro-rate that or something. It's a start.

    December 4, 2012 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  7. NamePrince

    GOP are too strick, unyielding, stiff-neck and too concevatives for modern age. The American Voters should a matter of urgency sweep them out Capitol Hill in the next Eects

    December 4, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  8. BLKMANinAmerica

    Right.....................well most def "if talks fail, the GOP is directly to blame" and trust it's only because of the GAMES the repuks in Congress constantly play with the American people. The GOP is the only blame because they do not work for the American people, they only collect a pay-check from us.

    December 4, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  9. jason of Iowa

    they don't mind taking blame, as long as they can cling to their tax breaks. money trumps duty.

    December 4, 2012 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  10. Paoulo

    To show they are serious about finding a solution Congress could elect to not take the Christmas break and work through the holidays; vote to suspend their pay until they do their most important job to pass a budget, deal with long term fiscal issues and appropriate funds. But they will not. They are weasels.

    December 4, 2012 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  11. Obamoris

    Let mr.O drive off the cliff...No talk of real job's from the Moris twin. You have to fix the spending, or the debt will destroy all.

    December 4, 2012 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  12. Disgusted

    Really? The buck stops with the President. If he doesn't negotiate (instead of partying, travelling, jaunting here and there and spending our money) then it lies squarely on the Prez's shoulders. If we head over the cliff, don't want to hear any belly aching from those that voted for the "leader"(not sure we have ever been able to call him that).

    December 4, 2012 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  13. Brandon M.

    A little Sarah Palin commentary with some background...I'm pretty independent in my voting, having voted for Clinton in 96, Bush in 2000 and Obama in 08, and I watch CNN and FOX and read the WSJ, NYT and Time. I like to hear it all..but here's the thing...I've watched Sarah Palin speak a few times with an objective ear, and I'm wondering if people understand...truly understand...that she is an uninformed woman shose grasp of the issues is pathetic. Honestly, she spouts talking points and is woefully ignorant concerning a host of issues. I just truly wonder if people actually do understand this. Listening to her speak about issues is actually sad. It doesn't make me upset, it makes me sad. I still wonder how she has such a platform? She is pretty good looking and has a somewhat interesting accent, but I just don't see what the deal is...even KEsha's success makes more sense to me.......

    December 4, 2012 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  14. christina knight

    The Repubs will not compromise on tax revenue increases, therefore, they must be blamed if no deal is made. However, if the Dems do not agree to entitlement reform they will also deserve some blame as well. The Repubs should agree to tax rate increases and then the Dems must be willing to follow with agreement to entitlement reform. The reason the Repubs must go first is because of their past history of refusal to compromise on tax increases (the Dems have repeatedly caved in past deals).

    December 4, 2012 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  15. Humanity4All

    We as a country has rejected GOP party from leading this nation, why we waste time going over there proposal and than finger pointing. We need strong leadership to get his done. No more finger pointing.

    December 4, 2012 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  16. james clem

    Everyone keeps writing/talking about taxing the wealthy or rich as an absolute necessity. As a country we really believe that a couple that earns 300-400K per year is rich? Is it fair for them (including an average of state income tax rates and the ObamaCare tax) to pay nearly 50% of their income in federal and state taxes. Think about it. Imagine working from January to July to pay for govenrment and programs you are too 'wealthy' to benefit from. Those folks don't even get retirement or healthcare after they pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes because they are 'too wealthy'. When our federal government is without waste (see 800K conventions in Vegas and 500M on a failed solar energy company) I will believe in higher tax rates that may help the middle class and poor. Obama is a disaster for this country who has created a divisive class warfare to gain popularity and votes rather than solve the problem of the economy.

    December 4, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  17. Laffin' alla tyme

    I want to go over the cliff mon, Smokin' a spliff with Jimmy Cliff that is!

    December 4, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  18. Arcy

    Democrat and former DNC Chair Howard Dean said he thinks Obama WANTS to go over the cliff and also added that it's to the Democrats advantage that talks fail. Based on the story above, it would seem he is right.

    Imagine a president who WANTS talks to fail! It's ludicrous, but we have one that does!

    December 4, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  19. riprtin

    The tea party spent the last four years doing one thing, and that was to make Obama a one term president.Its clear the American public wants nothing to do with them or there philosophy. The time has come for them to be blamed for anything that comes from going over the fiscal cliff. What part of being a loser don`t they get.

    December 4, 2012 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  20. Chicago

    Last I checked Obama was the one in power, not the GOP. The problem with Obama, besides his lack of intelligence, is that he does not understand there is a difference between taxing the rich and taxing small business owners. The GOP could really care less about the fat cats out there, it is the problem of hitting these small business owners with massive taxes that is the hold up. If you don't understand what I am saying then my guess is you are one of the ignorant voters out there who saddled us with Obama for another 4 miserable years. The fault is Obama's, he is in charge so he is the one that should take the blame. Its up to him to bring us together, not the GOP. But Obama is hell-bent on taxing small business owners and destroying this economy even further. I'm almost of the opinion to let him...use some of Obama's own Alinsky tactics that he is so fond of using.

    December 4, 2012 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  21. Dorkus

    Protect the wealthy at all costs, period. That is our battle cry and America had better listen.

    -The Tea Party Patriots

    December 4, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  22. KER

    It's time to play hardcore but practical politics. Just give the current administration everything it wants. Vote "present" on the bill (like a certain former senator from Illinois). If it turns out to work, then the country is better off. If it fails miserably, the administration and those who support it will only be able to point at themselves.

    December 4, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  23. g.r.r.

    silly poll. About the only ones that will not blame the republicans, will be the neo-cons/tea*. Anybody that looks at this objectively, will agree that both parties deserve blame, but that the republicans (actually neo-cons) deserve the vast majority of it.

    December 4, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  24. dpcfoh

    John Boehner acts as if he is the president. It is in the best interest of him and the (waning) Republican party to work with, not against, the President in order to regain some credibility with the public.

    December 4, 2012 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  25. wolfpackbob

    Really? If the GOP House passes a bill to extend ALL tax cuts and Harry Reid in the Senate and President Obama vetoes the tax cuts for ALL, then Reid and Obama are held blameless by the all-important middle-class? How do you figure that? Both side can play politics and Reid and Obama just may be left holding the bag they tried to dump on the other side. What do you bet they are praying the GOP does not do just that?

    December 4, 2012 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
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