Poll: GOP to get more blame than Obama if fiscal cliff talks fail
December 4th, 2012
10:16 AM ET
2 years 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. Hadji

    @ TiredODaCrap: The same liberally biased media that falsely claimed Obama was going to the win the election easily, right? Good thing we had accurate media pundits like Joe Scarborough, Sean Hannity, Karl Rove, and pollster Dean Chambers.
    Face it, your claims of "liberal bias" are just sour grapes over how the real world feels vs your false hopes.

    December 4, 2012 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  2. tucsand

    I think since the numbers in the House and Senate are more closer together it would be the fault of both parties not just one.

    December 4, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  3. phearis

    Hmmmm, let's see. Republicans refuse to do any kind of negotiation and demand things go their way or they'll let the country fall into a sewer. They scream "No New Taxes" and then blame democrats for not having any money to do ANYTHING! Then they want the Bush Tax Cuts renewed because they're STILL under the delusional thought that Trickle Down Economics actually works and completely ignore the 32 years of proof that it doesn't. The only way Republicans even get elected is they pander and rely on the stupid, misguided and poor to get them into office. They say what those lemmings want to hear and once in office, pretend they don't exist and only care about those who can pay them the most. If Abraham Lincoln was still alive (also a Republican) he'd spit into the faces of every GOP in Congress then ask what the heck they're doing! or NOT doing.

    December 4, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  4. DARNELL

    The media blames the GOP for everything lol... but in the end the dims finally get what they want, HIGHER TAXES! HAHA!!

    December 4, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  5. California Gary

    Boehner and the GOP just put the "Romney" plan on the table and are acting like they are negotiating. Sorry, but the Romney plan was just rejected by the American people in November. The debate was had, and the American people chose to go with the Obama approach........the GOP needs to get in line with it, or they are in danger of becoming extinct in the 2014 election cycle. They will absolutely get most of the blame if this goes sour, as they should.

    December 4, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  6. DC Observer

    Every Democrat on here says Obama got a mandate and the country spoke clearly - you folks are NUTS. Obama got 50.7% of the popular vote; the GOP won the House; the GOP elected over 30 governors. There is no Obama mandate – never has been and never will be. It is a fictitious fable promulgated by the liberal mainstream media – ABC MSNBC NBC CBS abd CNN -

    US Army Veteran
    Smll Business Owner
    Independent

    December 4, 2012 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  7. BigD

    Our leaderless President is not doing anything to curb spending. He just wants to raise taxes to spend more $ he has never earned. I've got no problem paying higher taxes if it was going to reduce the debt. Problem is, Obama just wants to continue with his addiction to spending. The undying loyalty the common Dem has for Obama is shameless. None of us should look at a politician & think they're god like & always right. Question everyone & everything

    December 4, 2012 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  8. Keel Hauler

    I can't speak for anyone else, but I most certainly blame the GOP for their non-cooperative stance on this and other issues. And I'm far from a liberal...

    December 4, 2012 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  9. PaulCat

    The GOP doesn't believe in POLLS. That's how they loss the general election. You would think they'd learned their lesson.

    December 4, 2012 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  10. Cookie

    I am getting sick and tiered of the GOP taking the blame for everything. It is a DEmocratic Pres. but yet the GOP is to blame. Now if the GOP had the power then ok but dam they are ALL to blame. No one wants to compromise at all. Because of this the once Great USA is going to the dogs due to the fact our Gov. can not agree on anything except for the fact as to when they will take avacation and that is all.

    December 4, 2012 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  11. lvas

    blah, blah, blah. you rightes can complain all you want – but Obama ran and won reelection on the PROMISE to let the tax cuts expire for the wealthy. end of story. There dosent have to be compromise on that point and frankly why should he. bottom line – we will go over the so called cliff and rates will go up on the wealthy, then the new congress will pass tax relief for the middle class and there its done. I would leave the military spending cuts in place. we spend to much on the military as it is.

    December 4, 2012 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  12. huggylove

    The President will get the Blame because that is where it belongs. He has no intention of solving this problem, He wants to raise taxes for EVERYONE, then blame the other guys. But, in all of history, when things went bad, Who do people remember? Who was the President. Not the house, not the speaker or congress majority, He will take the blame and go down in history of the WORST President ever.

    December 4, 2012 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  13. Peter

    We should just let it go over the cliff and blame it on Bush, lol.

    There are no adults in Washington DC. This country is toast!

    December 4, 2012 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  14. Wizerwoman

    I actually would have expected more comments on this highly emotional issue. However, it is nice to see that the majority of comments come from people who actually see that this is once again a "power play" by the GOP. Has anyone else noticed that in the interview with Boehner (Boner) on Dec 2, he states "I'm determined to solve our debt problem". Not "we" the GOP, but "i". It's clear that he feels this issue is all about him and whether he wins. Not what is best for the middle class majority, but what makes him look like a winner; and heh, maybe even a presidential candidate in the next go around (isn't that how the majority of politicians look at everything they do).

    December 4, 2012 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  15. Objectively Moderate

    If Republicans can get the spending cuts by putting taxes back to the 1990s rates, do it! Why fight that relatively small increase and get blamed for the Fiscal cliff, while allowing Democrats to avoid any blame at all? Everyone's taxes are going to have to go up and there must be spending cuts across the board. When Republicans battle like this, they look like they only care for the very rich.

    December 4, 2012 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  16. Alaskatrailrunner

    Turn off the cameras and get to work, Boehner.

    December 4, 2012 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  17. sammiegbaker

    I too find it ironic that the Liberal Media a.k.a. State Owned Media or SOM, polls within the DC neighborhoods where nearly7 in 10 are on government subsidies and they agree with Obama. What a farce. Obama is prevented from being a dictator by the Constitution. However, he has proven the congress to be non existent in the past and he and his Socialist Legal team will eventually eliminate the elections to show the world how to be the One World Leader. God have mercy on the real Americans.

    December 4, 2012 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  18. another1

    Here the republicans come again on the CNN comments, speaking out against their own and the country's best interest, they have been brainwashed into thinking that the top 1% need tax cuts. It is pathetic. These people are grossly misinformed. Raising taxes on the wealthy is not intended to fix the economy by itself, obviously, duh. Raising taxes on the wealthy is only going to make things a little more fair so the middle class isn't burdened while the rich get ar richer than they ever have in recorded history. Republicans sure know how to dig themselves into a hole by starting two unpaid for wars, Obama is trying to throw them a rope but they were told by Rush Limbaugh that the rope is a snake and so they won't climb out of the hole because they can't think for themselves.

    December 4, 2012 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  19. i'm confused

    Yeah no question... If our economy contracts on the magnitude of what happened in fall of 2008 (i.e. following the last extended period of republican "leadership" our nation had to endure) as a result of Congressional republicans refusal to ask our nation's most wealthy individuals to contribute their fair share, THE GOP WILL NOT SURVIVE THE NEXT MID-TERM ELECTION IN 2 YEARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 4, 2012 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  20. Michael

    Why cant the rich just pay extra for the time being until a true plan is put in place. Raising taxes on everyone will kill this country. Raising taxes on the rich only will not.

    December 4, 2012 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  21. equal time

    Painted as a picture that it's the republican's fault. Did anyone see the equally blatant picture that the democrats even the president are just as eager to not compromise? Compromise comes from both sides... show us both sides of this equation. News bias only serves to anger, enflame, and cause dissonance.

    December 4, 2012 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  22. Bill

    As they should – they started the whole mess with the debt ceiling debacle last year. ANd they agreed to this and were part and parcel to having it set up this way!! Get over it losers. You lost seats in the House, Senate and never had a chance at the White House. A party on the cusp of irrelevance.

    December 4, 2012 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  23. Jequan

    I don't understand the logic here. Democrats and Republicans have to work together, its a two way street here and both sides have tried to come up with a budget deal albeit one that fits each other agendas but they're still working none the less, which makes it rather childish to play the blame game here. Everyone is culpable, not one more than the other. Don't people understand that we have a debt of close to $16.3 trillion which doesn't even include the unfunded liabilities of social security, medicare and the state unfunded pension liabilities. If you were to really calculate the TOTAL debt it'd be much much higher. I don't believe raising taxes could harm the economy any more than it already is and I also believe that raising taxes won't save the economy. Bottom line is you will not raise nearly enough revenue without substantial reform to spending and unfortunately some substantial cuts. We've dug ourselves into a hole too deep.

    And btw, the real tax problem that everyone should be talking about is the tax on capital gains and dividends which will be increasing under Obamacare. Those rates are jumping back up to 39.6%. Dividends and capital gains make up close to 30% of the value of the market, if you double the rates you are essentially halving the returning on Dividends and Capital gains essentially wiping of 15% of the value of the market, that's number 1. Number 2, market volatility will dramatically increase since investors will look for gains elsewhere by actively trading rather than remaining complacent with predictable fixed income. Finally, these taxes dont just effect the top 2% percent they effect everyone, 42% of income received by retirees over the age of 65 are in the form of dividends and capital gains, if you increase the tax on that your essentially wiping away a large portion of income for retired people...this people, should be getting the most attention.

    December 4, 2012 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  24. sardan72

    Is there ANYTHING that this president accepts blame for? Everything that is wrong with US, be it the economy or weather or defense or bad oatmeal, is the fault of someone else. Either Bush did it or the republicans did it or China made me do it. My faith teaches me that there was only one perfect person to ever walk on this earth, and it isn't him!

    December 4, 2012 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  25. Jake

    You can slice and dice this anyway you want, but at the end of the day, Republicans continue to demonstrate that they are protecting and serving the rich, corporations, and the special interest who are their benefactors. For them, it's an investment to their own financial future to serve them. The average middle class American isn't going to stuff millions into their pockets, or going to offer them highly paid consultant, lobbyest, or board membership on corporations and special interest groups. They care about their own nest being feathered, not what's best for America. They are for intents and purposes being bribed by big money. Just look at what they want to chop up, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Education, etc. These are real people programs and real people programs don't serve their own interest. Just look at the loopholes they guys are talking about closing...mortgage and other deductions real people have left. They are not talking about closing the loopholes Romney uses, or cutting out subsidies to the Exxons of the world, they are talking about the ones real America still has left. Folks, these guys ran for elected office to take care of themselves and their friends, not you. You never counted in the schemes. All you have to see is how most Red States are poor or at the bottom of everything. These are Republicans controlled states who will continue to remain at the bottom so long as the folks in these states continue to believe these lying Republicans. Folks...they only need you to be fooled at election time. After that, you don't exists. Vote them all out and maybe the next group of Republicans will get the message and really serve who voted them in.

    December 4, 2012 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
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