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.

– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

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. TiredODaCrap

    WOW! A liberal media outlet's poll that finds that the liberals they polled would find the Repubs responsible for the issues of the country? I guess Obama really is indicative of those who support him. However, in both polls they use for support, there was barely 50% who would put the blame there, LOL! It goes to both sides, and nothing will get done as long as the Great Divider is in office.
    In order to get anything done, compromise is needed. Haven't heard old Barry willing to back off of ONE THiNG from his plan (or lack of one). This could all be over if he was willing to back down a little, too.

    December 4, 2012 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  2. 2014 Vote

    Boehner and all the republicans need to be voted out of the office.
    I went to the grocery store and prices are very high if my taxes goes up how would I afford to pay for groceries.
    The republican I hold the blame against you and going to campaign to get the vote out.
    Vote all republican out in 2014

    December 4, 2012 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  3. AnAmerican

    You people just don't get it.
    Where is Obama during these talks. How could anyone take the democrats seriously when our commander in chief and pretend president can't be bothered to even talk and sends his hired help. That is not leading folks that is following, which he does very well.
    If the talks faol, don't kid yourself and live in adream, it will be Obama;s legacy not congress. At least the GOP is trying to open conversations but Mr Obama won't even talk.

    December 4, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  4. Edwin Bowers

    Elections have consequences, and stupid people vote for arrogant stupid politicians. Polls that suggest the Republicans would get the blame if a deal is not reached with Obama on the fiscal crisis are generated from the people who stupidly voted for a Socialist. Even James Carvel said that 80% of Democrats are politically clueless.and can be manipulated The very people that voted for Obama are the ones who will be adversely effected by his policies.

    December 4, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  5. Peach

    And you're not biased or anything-right CNN?????

    December 4, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  6. Anonymous

    Who cares? I hope it does go down the tubes and the freeloaders have to pay some tax.

    December 4, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  7. Ancient Texan

    Even Obama said at one point that "you don't raise taxes in a poor economy" but that was before he needed to start the class warfare tactic to get elected This won't raise enough money to even dent one week's worth of spending, butthe whole thing is a political move not in the country's interest.

    December 4, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  8. Joe

    I wonder if there is a poll for the most overused phrase that has two different meanings of the past two years? If so 99% of people would say that "Elections have consequences".

    December 4, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  9. John Chachas

    If talks fail GOP blamed....what a headline. So maybe the GOP should also let the White House spend what it wants....forever....on any topic it wishes. The GOP will similarly be blamed for acting as a legitimate opposition to insane fiscal policies the Community Organizer in Chief cares to pursue. Please - CNN - stop your prophetic headlines. The American people want Washington to spend less and manage its finances like the rest of America does. The GOP has offered up $800 billion in revenue increases, and many GOP lawmakers will lose their jobs by voting for Speaker Boehner's overture. Meanwhile what has the White House offered up in terms of curtailing spending? Nothing. Nada. Zip. Let's see the White House grow up and dermonstrate that it actually understands the need to SPEND LESS NEXT YEAR THAN THiS YEAR. Reductions in automatic growth rates and increases....that isn't a real reduction in wat we're spending. So this isn't on the GOP in the slightest. The big mistake will be if the GOP blinks.

    December 4, 2012 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  10. Bobrye777

    Actually, I blame all our politicians – dems, repubs, independants – you name them. They've proven they are incompetent. All they want is power (money) and will tell us whatever they have to to get re-elected. As the very least, we should insist on term limits. That way they have to live with their decisions, like the rest of us, and sit in Washington trying to think of ways to keep their jobs and lead the good life. I long for my days back in the "60s" when our mantra was "anti-Washington". We didn't want them then; we shouldn't want them now!.

    December 4, 2012 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  11. sassysticks53

    "But hey, lets not report the facts... Blame the conservatives..."

    Thanks. That's exactly who I blame – the conservative tea party bigots. And as we have come to know, conservatives don't care about facts! They have on blind folds and ear plugs.

    December 4, 2012 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  12. Concerned American

    I used to be left-leaning on almost everything, watched programs like Rachel Maddow while hating anything on FoxNews, and drank the politcal kool-aid spewed by the mainstream media. Then I decided to do my own research instead of letting the media be the only source of information. I'm not going to say it was an epiphany of huge proportions, but basically it made me realize that spending and entitlements – if left to continue unabated – will destroy this country. Too many people and groups are wanting too many handouts, which this country just can't sustain for very much longer. Our government will HAVE to cut spending and HAVE to pull back the reigns of entitlements before we turn into another Greece and watch our country implode. I'm not saying the super wealthy shouldn't be taxed more, but people seem to think this is the ONLY thing that is needed. To give an example, under Obama, SEVENTEEN new agencies were created in the government solely for the benefit of women. SEVENTEEN. Women now surpass men in number of college degrees earned, yet we must still aid this one group with more taxpayer money? Stop the entitlement revolving door our government has turned into.

    December 4, 2012 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  13. matt

    Its such a joke when you read these comments. People talking about the Democrat party like they're "good guys" fighting the evil GOP. You're a sad sack of Pollyanna people.....Obama is every bit the corrupt politician that GWB was. Don't let the facts get in your way though. You guys play that "blame game". The blame? ITS THE WHOLE LOT! Time to grow up kids....

    December 4, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  14. Steve1959

    Even Bush knew how to negotiate with the other party. Obama has shown zero skills in that area. All he wants to do is play Santa Claus without considering the consequences.

    December 4, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  15. Joe

    Why does every keep blaming Norquist too, what is wrong with his pledge? It states that GOP won't raise taxes without government reform (oh no that's such a bad thing!). 90+% of people say the government needs reform. Norquist is such an evil person for wanting the government to be more efficient.

    December 4, 2012 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  16. Where is the Bi-Partisan Leadership?

    It is the President's job to LEAD and develop a deal – not the Republicans. The President said he would 'reach across the aisle' and work with Republicans. Where is his leadership? What actions is he taking to 'reach across the aisle'? He never did this in his 1st term and he obviously isn't going to do it in his second term (as evidenced by his ACTIONS). Prez Obama is out on the campaign train talking to the people about tax hikes, instead of in a room talking with Republicans trying to negotiate a deal. Any person would be reasonably insulted that the Prez wouldn't meet with them face-to-face. And as others have posted, unless they do something about spending, it isn't going to matter WHAT the tax rates are, our deficit will only continue to grow.

    December 4, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  17. Anonymous

    51 percent don't pay federal income tax that how Obama was re elected just look at France

    December 4, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  18. johnh

    Wasn't that pretty much a given when obama was elected the first time? I love CNN'c riveting articles. "Liberals will blame everyone but themselves for the failures of liberal policies" Great media CNN...great Media...

    December 4, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  19. Patrick

    Obama and the Democrats say NO to any bill they do not like and people blame Republicans. The House has passed 35+ job bills that Harry Reid never let see the light of day in the Senate. Yet Republicans are to blame. Obama only wants more taxes when we have a spending problem. Yet Republicans are to blame. Obama has out spent W Bush in half the time. Yet Republicans are to blame? Obama is in constant campaign mode instead of leading. People blame Republicans.

    Look at what Obama proposed to end the fiscal cliff. Higher taxes. Extending unemployment again. If more people were working and paying taxes that already exist. More tax dollars would be come in. Instead of getting people to work. Obama want to continue the free ride that many are on. Hint if you stop the free ride for those that have already used all of their time, they will go out and find work. That might make them not vote for you next time. Do anything for votes. Then again, Obama has never really worked. HE is a product of that system. Obama wants to keep the free ride and entitlement system going. Obama seems to forget that someone has to pay for those entitlements. You can tax the upper 2% at 100% of their money and the federal government will spend that in months. Do that and you will see how bad the idea of taxing the rich more. They already pay (depending on whose figures you look at) 70%-90% of the tax dollar taken in now.

    Stop the give me give me thinking. There is no free ride. What ever happened to the be responsible for yourself.

    December 4, 2012 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  20. Ancient Texan

    AND...if the ECONOMY isn't 100% better by the 2014 midterm elections...the GOP will gain control of the Senate and strengthen their hold on the House....then Obama is irrelevent.

    December 4, 2012 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  21. David Martin

    This information will mean precious little to the Right. They believe that Mathematics has a liberal bias so none of these polls are credible unless they believe Obama is a Muslim Kenyan causing Republicans to look bad.

    There is this one time though when they are forced to look at reality even when its not what they want to hear. Election Day. If they stay on this course the Tea Party will be removed from the game board in 2014.

    December 4, 2012 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  22. GatorDude

    If we go over the cliff both parties will share the blame. Obama asked for more tax increases than he called for during the campaign. Republicans are unwilling to concede to his demands. Both sides need to reach a compromise. They weren't sent to Washington to play Thelma and Louise. If they don't reach a compromise, we need to look to third parties and vote anti-incumbant across the board.

    December 4, 2012 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  23. Military Vet

    Conservatives will blame the GOP as well if nothing is done. The country spoke cearly in the last election. Lets just get on with it, get the deal done, and get our country back on track. Enough of the "just say "NO" Tea party." They are wrecking the GOP.

    December 4, 2012 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  24. johnh

    The only thing that is going to change the direction of the US economy is a MASSIVE economic failure. Stop whining and brace yourselves. The sooner it gets started, the sooner it will be over.

    December 4, 2012 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  25. An Observer

    The republicans just don't get it. They lost the election; they don't get to dictate the terms of tax policy. Let's just go off the fiscal bump and see who gets the blame. It will be amusing to watch the republicans wander in the wilderness for forty years.

    December 4, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14