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. i12bphil

    Republicans should not only step out of the way, they should work hard towards passing all the Democrats goals. Every single one. That way when the whole government goes up in flames there will no argument beyond a shadow of a doubt who's fault it is.

    December 4, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  2. mike Lake Orion Michigan

    There are no spending cuts period! Obama, Pelosi and Reid will receive the blame.

    December 4, 2012 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  3. The REAL Truth...

    Wow.. the total brainwashing of the right wing sheeple must have actually completed. This is NOT Obama's problem. The so-called fiscal cliff is an event manufactured by the GOP during debt ceiling talks a year ago. This is Congress' problem, not the Presidents, but the right wing bozos just don't get it. The Grand Obstructionist Party is solely responsible for this mess, and needs to work toward resolving it.

    December 4, 2012 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  4. Jeff/Minnesota

    I can't believe people out there think that taxing the 50% who don't pay federal taxes would do anything to achieve our objective of stabilizing the debt. A rate increase of 4.6 percent on the top 2% would equal the combined income of the 150 million americans on the bottom. Most of these people are the working poor, retired, children and disabled.

    December 4, 2012 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  5. Randy

    I love that the President says the American people "voted for higher taxes". That is not true, they voted to raise the taxes of other people. If one group pays more, we should all pay more. Simply raise rates 2% across the board, limit deductions and exemptions for those making over $500,000, and conduct a complete audit of entitlements to eliminate the dead wood. Name specific programs that will be reduced or eliminated and move forward. Oh, also make Congress join the same insurance exchanges they are pushing on voters and terminate all retirement benefits for members convicted of a felony. As for who is to blame, look at the golf course!

    December 4, 2012 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  6. teena

    hey Joe,
    people blame Norquist because he is a PAID LOBBYIST and NOT an elected official. Therefore, the repubs should NOT swear oath to anyone or anything except the CONSTITUTION> NO one private citizen should have that much power over an elected official let alone an entire party!

    December 4, 2012 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  7. Mark in San Jose

    TiredO, you are clueless. LOL all you want, but your party has done absolutely nothing of significance to compromise here. Pandering to your base and refusing to allow tax cuts to expire for the wealthy is ludicrous, and America sees more clearly every day how the GOP is falling apart because they want to pound their fists like little babies and kick and scream until they get their way. The election is over and it's a new day. Give us the tax increases for the wealthy or continue to become less and less of a voice in our country as we move forward without you.

    December 4, 2012 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  8. You Can Hide in the Sun Till U See The Light

    It's comments from TiredODaCrap that make me shudder. The poll was a scientifically desgined, random sample of adults and the poll broke results out by political affiliation. Only 12% in the poll equally blamed both parties, and the 53% blame for the GOP was compared to almost half that (27%) who blamed the president. The comparison was 52% versus 21% among INDEPENDENT VOTERS.

    When congressional republicans cannot agree to $1 dollar in tax revenue for ever $3 in spending cuts, then yes, it is the GOP, and a sad testament to modern humanity. One wonders whether or not those in the GOP are no well educated, or choose to suspend such education to adhere to counterproductive ideals.

    December 4, 2012 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  9. Matthew Kilburn

    Who would have thought the public would ever put more blame on the party telling the truth, instead of promising more goodies from Uncle Sam? Its the middle class, and middle class entitlements, and welfare, and nearly non-existant taxes for the middle and lower classes that caused this mess.

    47% of the country pays no income tax. 40% of the country pays a negative income tax rate. And, by far, the most spending from the governemnt goes to entitlement programs. Spending has increased from a historical average of 20% to 24% today, and yet not only do the Democrats want to a take a don't-touch-entitlements mentality, they want to *increase* spending....all while holding any agreement that would put us on a sustainable course hostage to a considerable tax hike on those who already pay 37% of the entire national income tax burden, for only 17% of the national income.

    Switch to a flat tax, cut spending to 20% of the GDP, and stop this tireless crusade against any American who has built a comfortable living.

    December 4, 2012 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  10. Ancient Texan

    Where is the Bipartisan Leadership- True....but that is ALL Obama knows how to do; campaign! Leadership and doing his job is not in HIS job description.

    December 4, 2012 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  11. Jerry

    Yeah, it's still Bush's fault!!!

    December 4, 2012 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  12. mfoxman

    Obama needs someone else to blame this new term on. Last term it was Bush. This time it will be the GOP congress.
    It's never his fault. You don't negotiate by saying its my way or no way. That is not compromise.

    December 4, 2012 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  13. ex GOP

    I've voted against Libs all my life, over 40 years, but now I can honestly say they have finally gotten their act together while my Republican party has stood still in time. I voted this past November for the first time in my life for a Dem.
    It's clear to everyone around where I live that my GOP party has really lost it, and the President truly is doing a very good job regardless of how the GOP try to make him do bad.

    With that said I am now changing parties for good, and becoming a Lib, such as those whom I used to not like very much, but now today seems to be the brightest..

    December 4, 2012 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  14. HenryB

    Angry people today. Respect people who disagree but when your posts include references to Barry, pretend president, socialist, then please know that you are not taken seriously. When you do this you show that your comments are completely partisan. Keep going and continue to dig a hole for your party.

    December 4, 2012 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  15. So true Johnh!!!

    Agree with you about fiscall cliff. Let the economy right itself. And people should brace themselves, b/c the people who will be hit hardest are mostl likely those people who voted for Obama. Then you have no one to blame but yourself for voting for his socialistic policies.

    December 4, 2012 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  16. drod

    The Republicans are on the wrong side of history again. American people will no longer put up with the GOP. Unfortunately the GOP still doesn't get it and they will continue to loose elction after election. Maybe then will the country prosper again.

    December 4, 2012 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  17. Not Decided

    I just wonder why the GOP is so dead set against raising taxes for the wealthy?

    December 4, 2012 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  18. Sandra

    Boehner and all the Republicans WILL BE VOTED OUT of office in 2014.

    December 4, 2012 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  19. avalanche

    Obama got 51% of the vote. Romney got 49%. Obama and the Senate represent the 51%. The GOP House represents the remaining 49%. Seems fair that 49% of the population would be represented by 1/3 of the government.

    December 4, 2012 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  20. DC Observer

    That is all Obama, Reid, Pelosi and the dems care about – who gets the blame They could care less about they are ruining this country - absolutely pathetic.

    December 4, 2012 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  21. peace

    Something I have never understood in this country. Why does the GOP get the blame for everything but yet democrats no matter what they do never ever claim responsibility. One side gets blasted for not compromising and yet the other is doing the same thing? Most Americans lack common sense and can't think outside the box. I was for Obama in 2008 but not 2012, so don't call me a conservative because I swing both ways, but everytime I see Obama making a fail move guess who gets blamed? GOP of course, if its their fault or not. Democrats seem to think the GOP needs to compromise and they don't. Both sides need to learn to give in some. Be realistic people and use your own heads, most of you have been blinded and don't even see it.

    December 4, 2012 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  22. Larry in Houston

    To be perfectly honest – Jim "dimwit" DeMint is distancing himself from Boehner's plan that he layed on the table. As a matter of fact, DeMint (btw he's a GOP'er ) is dis-agreeing with Boehners proposals.

    NOW – isn't THAT Something ? LOL – Now, That's Funny.

    I mean, this says that the GOP can't agree with their OWN Stuff ??

    Here's the thing : The longer that this thing goes on & on & on – this thing just festers, and gets bigger & bigger – and to be frank about it, more & more people are saying that this country may be better off, to let this thing go off the so called "cliff" so to speak. As a matter of fact, I've even talked to some republicans that is saying that they hope we go off the cliff . ( notice I said "some" ) Guess some of them don't really care , either.

    December 4, 2012 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  23. Jimbojoe

    Remember, this is a biased liberal propaganda poll just like all the ones before the election that showed Obama winning the election.

    GOP can do no wrong, it's just all the socialists stopping them with their war on Christmas. Then during the mid-term when there IS no more GOP it will still be everybody elses fault and the GOP will have done nothing wrong. Remember that

    December 4, 2012 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  24. Kelcy

    Nothing new here folks.....move along.....move along.
    This breaks along party lines as always. The republican/tea party core account for that lower number each and every time. The 53% are the democrat core but with the addition of most independents.
    All very, very sad in my mind that we are failing as a nation state and have been headed this way for decades now. Yet today we need to be strong and focused and can`t seem to do it.

    December 4, 2012 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  25. Webhoncho

    It's hilarious and sad at the same time to read some posts questioning the POLLS, not the message the polls should carry to the Republican Party. Apparently, these complainers were hoping to read the SAME polls that predicted ROMNEY WOULD WIN the Nov. 6 election. Wow! Talk about oblivious to reality. Hopefully Mr. Boehner understands the polls so he can get his House together and cooperate with the President.

    December 4, 2012 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
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