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. Guest

    Observer – No one gets to dictate the terms, election or not! You seem confused or misled about our nations governing policies. As far as blame, I agree, the left will obviously blame the right – no surprise there. Unfortunately those who voted for Obama's misguided social justice policies will ultimately pay the biggest price when the handouts dry up.

    This is real life, everyone doesnt get a trophy just for being here.

    December 4, 2012 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  2. Dragon

    It would really be the GOP's fault. How can they not understand that America was even polled and said that taxes should be raised for the top 2%. If America says that they should be raised for that bracket, then who speaks for them. The reason they don't want to, cause most of them probably fall in that and don't want to pay a fair share. Granted the entire Congress is just a bunch of spoiled children who pout and whine if they don't get their way. We need term limits on congress. This way we can finally get some of the bad ones out (on both sides of the isle).

    December 4, 2012 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  3. A Veteran in Arizona

    Nearly every President from JFK knew that raising taxes during a recession or recovery is absolutely the WRONG THING to do. You can't tax your way out of trouble. But, the CNN Polls show just how ignorant a majority of the electorate that put Obama back in the White House are about economics. While I have some issues with parts of the Republican plan, I would vote for it now (that is what is called compromise). Obama knows about as much about leadership as he does economic – which is practically nothing. If I had led my troops in the manner he is "leading" this country, we would have been disorganized, non-productive, and DEAD! For all of you out there who believe Obama is the answer (especially all who have their hand out waiting for their share from the Federal cookie jar instead of working for a living), remeber that old phrase (way over used but still relavent) – "It's the economy, stupod". If it is not fixed, people put back to work, and economic growth heading upwards, no other problems in this country will get solved because the USA cannot afford the fixes.

    December 4, 2012 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  4. What?

    Obama is an amatuer.

    Dems are more worried about cosmetics, appearances and posturing than fixing the problem. Has anyone on this site actually READ the proposals by both sides?

    Maybe CNN should do a story....."5 things you need to know about the proposals." (It appears that you only need to know 5 things about any given topic). Comedy.

    December 4, 2012 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  5. RAWoD

    The GOP have earned nothing except blame for their unpatriotic behaviors over these last 12 years. Time for tar and feathers in DC.

    December 4, 2012 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  6. MesaMom

    Obama won the election. Why would he adopt Romney's budget???? It's clear what the people want, the house needs to do it or 2014 will be another bad year for them.

    December 4, 2012 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  7. Jeff/Minnesota

    Another argument that I have difficulty with is this notion that taxing the rich will hurt small business owners who are job creators. People seem to ignore the fact that if I, John Doe small business owner, use company revenue to hire an employee, my new employee's salary is entirely tax deductible. Another words, If I own a growing business and it is in my business's interest to hire another employee, the associated expenses of doing so are not coming out of my taxed income... The whole argument of protecting small business owners is silly, IMO.

    December 4, 2012 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  8. cliffhanger

    When the polls during the presidential race was showing that Obama would win, Republicans – including those in the Ticker forum – berated the "Liberal" media and said that those being polled were liberals, so the polls couldn't be believed. I notice they are doing the same thing again. They never learn. They are claiming that the "liberals" are being polled, and therefore who is to be blamed (in this case Republicans) is fiction.

    The funny thing is, when they get trounced in the mid-term elections, they will be just as stunned as now and will not understand why they lost their control of the house. They are a bunch of authoritarian despots who want to protect the rich by taking from the middle class and the poor. God will not be mocked – He is on the side of the poor, therefore He is on Obama's side.

    These Grover Norquist fearing jokers need to be removed from office, and the Republican Party need to be rebuilt from the ground up. We need moderates in both parties.

    December 4, 2012 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  9. love miami

    G.O.P are the problem of this country the idea or the theory they stand for not for guy like me the midlle class they are only stand for the rich. but next election they will not have a job we will vote them all out all of them have the same stupid argument if they tax the rich the rich wont greate job. give me a break those guy keep have taxt break since G.O.P president was on the office they never greate nothing .why keep give them tax break again for what make them more rich.

    December 4, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  10. MTATL67

    Congressional Republicans lead by McConnell since day one of the presidents first term swore to block and obstruct any and all proposals. Their obstructionist agenda has damaged the recovery of this country. It is extremely clear the Republican party does not represent the ideals and values of most Americans. Well it's clear to us voters but for some reason the GOP refuses to see it even after the president's re-election and their lose of 8 seats in the house and 3 seats in the senate. The Republican party...suicide by political grand standing.

    December 4, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  11. KeninTexas

    President Obama is playing another political game, which he is very good at I have to admit. If the negotiations fail, he blames the republicans. If the republicans offer an acceptable compromise, he will still hammer them for any cuts in entitlements. Regardless the republicans get blamed for trying to stop this uncontrolled spending but not any credit. People need to open their eyes and see that this outrageous spending has to stop. And it's not about time, it well past time for it.

    December 4, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  12. Mark

    Of course, the left wing media will make sure it.

    December 4, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  13. Larry L

    Republicans continue to hold Americans hostage in their efforts to cut sweet deals for the wealthy. They will be finished as a political party if they allow the economic disaster of the fiscal cliff to happen. They offer nothing new and still reject the President's offers of compromise. They most definitely are the problem and will pay the price in 2014!

    December 4, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  14. No name

    Totally unrelated story but I find it shocking another act of terrorism has occurred and is going unreported. On Friday an Iraqi refugee detonated an IED at an Arizona Social Security office "on US soil" and it is still not being reported. 10 of our employees were in the building. Why is the media protecting the administration?

    December 4, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  15. Patrick Lewis

    Republicans would receive more blame because they are clearly to blame. The sequester was their idea. The Bush tax cuts having an expiration date at all? their idea (because they wouldn't compromise and get more than the bare minimum of votes to get it passed and as such it had to have an expiration date) The hyper fit about the deficit and the debit? Their idea, though they didn't have any problems when it was a republican in the white house.

    The Republicans are 100% to blame for this. This was a bomb they set up for Obama that has backfired horribly and we the people of the united states are collateral damage.

    December 4, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  16. DARNELL

    I hope we go over the cliff. I certainly won't mind paying more taxes, but I bet those mcdonalds working obama supporters are gonna be angry!!! hahaha

    December 4, 2012 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  17. Anonymous

    "They" will not blame Obama for this is his last term. "They" blame for Congress for many are up for Re-election (to scare them). LOL

    December 4, 2012 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  18. tucsand

    I think both parties are to blame now, not just one.

    December 4, 2012 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  19. Susie

    The propaganda of the media has succeeded then.

    December 4, 2012 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  20. A Veteran in Arizona

    TO DRAGON. You have to be realistic. (1) You can never truct polls, particularly ones done by or for the liberal media, and (2) the majority of the voters do not have a clue about economics. I am not saying they are stupid – they just do not understand economics. They only know what they are told by those the worship.

    December 4, 2012 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  21. J

    The truth of the matter is that this poll really doesn't mean much. The election proved that the majority of the registered voters in this country are way too dumb to decide what is best for this country.

    December 4, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  22. Not here

    Who controls this countries purse strings? The House. Who controls the House? Republicans. Things that make you go duh....

    December 4, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  23. Orchid333

    The Republican House is playing games with America and Obama is saying NO!! This is the guy we wanted the first four years and I'm glad we finally got him. The GOP knows very well that tax increases on the wealthy are necessary for this deal to go through, and they won't budge one bit on that. So what's the deal? An extra 1% in taxes on the top 2% of Americans isn't going to affect them at all – and I bet we'd see Obama bend on GOP demands if they'd give that up. Oh yeah, and by the way, it's being reported that if the House were to vote today on Obama's original plan, it would pass with GOP support... it's Boehner that's being pressured by his lobbyists and Norquist to repress a vote.

    December 4, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  24. JR

    A. Flat tax
    B. Term limits

    90% of the nation's problems solved.

    December 4, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  25. Mike

    Of course the GOP gets the blame. Obama ran on eliminating the Bush tax cuts on the top 2%. What doesn't the GOP understand?

    December 4, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
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