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. Steve

    The comments here are laughable. For the person who stated "Obama is the President. If we go over the cliff he is to blame. Don't take the job if you can't take the heat.", maybe you need to learn how legislation works. The President can say and do anything he wants but it doesn't guarantee a bill being passed. The Congress has that power solely. So, if you want to blame anyone, blame the Congress (primarily GOP) for not following through on the wishes of American voters.

    December 4, 2012 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  2. charles bowen

    Rob that was then this is now ....The Republican Party , The Republican Party of the Filthy Rich has bought the soul of the congress its vote its power Belong to the Rich Righteous Republican Right who sold us Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq and Afghanistan ...the Devil owns the Republican Soul......Have a Great Day i had a great rant.... Thanks, Charles Bowen Solomon Stone

    December 4, 2012 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  3. Caroline

    I don't see another 4 years of Obama without a shooting war breaking out. He is the most devisive politician i've ever seen and I'm a lifelong Democrat. This man wants his way 100% of the time.

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

    Shouldn't the poll have asked: Who would you blame more the republicans in congress or the democrats in congress and not the republicans in congress vs the president? But I'm not conducted a poll trying to prove my own opinion.

    December 4, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  5. 1sandygram

    Republican created this mess by being draconian and playing to the likes of the Tea Party, they have for 2 years Obama restricted from implementing any new policies, but somehow the spider got caught in her own web, now they have put themselves in an indefensible position when they were worried more about Planned Parenthood, I hope this situation teach them a lesson (I have no hope for them) and start doing the Job they are supposed to be doing. represent the people, not the Las Vegas billionaires.

    December 4, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  6. Jimmy

    It's good to know that people are so passionate about this lack of leadership from this Congress. They are the worst Congress ever to exist in this country and they have destroyed the institution forever.

    December 4, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  7. JohnC

    Rob, I would love to not have anyone pay any taxes ever but I'm also realistic and caring and know I'm doing much better than many and would be happy to pay more to help others and lower our debt. I know my money will go to people that will then buy basic goods and services that help the economy and help those in need. But having everyone enjoy a good life at no expense would be cool.

    December 4, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  8. jackthegeek

    Obama could not recover the economy as he promised, that is why he needs a scapegoat on fiscal cliff by not cooperating in budget cuts proposed by Congress. Increasing taxes alone won't help without budget cuts in entitlements.

    December 4, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  9. Chuck

    So its still Bush's Fault?

    December 4, 2012 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  10. Guest

    Obama said he couldnt fix Washington from the inside, because he is never there! How about compromising some vacation time and getting to the table and working this out?

    December 4, 2012 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  11. Frank

    Then they should post each of their proposals online and let the PUBLIC see the entire proposal and make THEIR OWN call on who was out of line.

    December 4, 2012 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  12. reasonablebe

    and you think this is a surprise? really?

    December 4, 2012 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  13. Craig

    Of course GOP gets the blame. Majority don't expect Dems to be responsible for anything.

    December 4, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  14. JohnC

    uncdig, you may be right that Obama may pull a Bush and send this country further downward if he doesn't get more serious about positive change. The same goes for congress.

    December 4, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  15. Robert from NY

    These were supposed to be TEMPORARY Bush tax cuts. WHat is so hard to understand about that? Let's get back to the CLinton days of prosperity. So tired of GOP egg heads.

    December 4, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  16. veggiedude

    "I will never understand whether you are Republican or Democrat, why would anyone want to raise taxes???"

    Patriotism. Freedom comes at a cost. And if you want to maintain the society America has enjoyed these past 100 years, then we must gladly pay the price.

    December 4, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  17. bill Fitzgerald

    Thomase, Income tax was never to be part of this discussion and it was illegally made into law about 100 years ago. Look it up. They should have none of my income. Zero. They have plenty of money from all of the other taxes they collect. Their overspending is their problem not mine. I wil give my time and money wher I please and feel good about it on my own thank you.

    December 4, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  18. bearced

    Here is a simple compromise. Raise rates by 2% for the wealthiest 2%, cap deductions, eliminate payroll tax holiday, increase medicare age, CUT DEFENSE. We could save billions if the DOD was run like any large corporation, the waste and redundancy in this agency is astounding.

    December 4, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  19. Vallerie

    "GOP to get more blame" I would reword to say "get more credit"

    December 4, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  20. NotAmerican

    It looks like the majority of Americans have become, how should I phrase it? ... yep, Stupid. When I came to this country there was a sense of duty to obey the laws, a sense of wanting to make dreams come true, to recognize success for the effort one put into making something out of nothing, and now, thanks to inept Obama, all these people want is to take from the rich to pocket it, give it to their friends, and buy votes through more food-stamps, welfare checks, etc, etc. I used to think most Americans were worth the land they stood on, that feeling is long gone. As a Latino immigrant, who made it here, I'm leaving this country with the feeling of sadness for what it has become. I'm well off now, so I won't worry about my life here in America, but it is sad to see so much ignorance and sense of entitlement in the great majority of the population. The era of Obama will always be remembered as the era of "Blaming the GOP" for everything that went bad, and having to take credit for nothing because all Obama hasn't done ANYTHING to help the country move in the right direction, his scripted BS is what a lot of Americans seem to believe as truth, but this clown is more inept than I thought. Have you heard of Hugo Chavez? Obama seems to have read his book and followed his strategy to the T. Poor dumb Americans, I feel sorry for those who have to work to support all of the lazy ones and the thieves we now have at the WH. But Obama will prove me wrong, right?... Sure, wink, wink!! ;-) Good luck to everyone here, you'll need it.

    December 4, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  21. Z

    Waaa Waaaa, the Republicans on here are crying... look, there's a reason Obama won the election and the Republicans lost seats in Congress. The majority of Americans are OKAY with letting the tax break expire for the wealthy. That's doesn't mean we ENJOY letting it expire.

    December 4, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  22. JohnQ

    Every day when I wake up I'm thankful that Obama was re-elected! Some of the comments I've read here just underscore the reasons I voted for him!

    December 4, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  23. Rick

    "I will never understand whether you are Republican or Democrat, why would anyone want to raise taxes???"

    I would like higher taxes so that our educational system can be improved in a meaningful manner. The more education that happens in America, the less crime happens. More education means more workers ready for the 21st century workforce. More education means less people on welfare. More education means less poverty.

    And it isn't a quick fix. If we start investing now, we won't see results for 20 years. But we will see results.

    December 4, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  24. Sam Adams

    The GOP has to return to their oaths of office and not to their oaths to Norquist.

    Do they owe their allegiance to the Constitution or to Norquist?

    December 4, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  25. james clem

    Protect the middle class and poor at all cost (even the rising debt of the country) so you never have to be responsible and balance a budget and spend wisely...tax the heck out of the wealthy so we can just keep on spending and let the good times roll. Our goal is to get only 2% of Americans even paying taxes, dare to dream.

    -the liberal wing of the democratic party

    December 4, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
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