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. James

    Captain Obvious article of the day, Obama won the election, of course those who supported him are going to blame the OTHER party.

    Silly CNN – pointing fingers solves nothing, especially when the Reps are just trying to save ourselves from our own stupidity.

    4 more years of stalemate is exactly what this country needs.

    December 4, 2012 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  2. TimLasVegas

    CNN is working hard, everyday, to make sure those poll results don't change. Hey, CNN, how about an article that explains to the American people that all the taxes the President wants on the wealthy will only cover about 10% of the annual deficit. How about being honest with the American people. How about being fair and unbiased instead of constantly pushing propaganda for the Democrats. How about doing your job!

    December 4, 2012 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  3. Chuk

    Yes they will, and they should. We all know the Republican agenda and how they act, not based on what's good for the country but what their ideology dictates. The scary thing is they are so blinded by their ideology they don't even stop long to consider when the country they think they serve is telling them to do something different. They would rather hold on to their ideology to the bitter end. That's scary. And they plan to run the country some they? Geez, I wonder how Hitler got started. The extreme right wing of the Republican party would happily drag the country over the cliff just to answer to ideological purity and to Norquist! Scary.

    December 4, 2012 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  4. Austin

    Lets be clear, Obama has decided to propose even more taxes at a rate higher than the ones he campaigned on and the GOP is only saying "hold on, this is supposed to be a negotiation". Companies are scrambling to move business overseas or to "right to work" states (anti-union states) because our own government is punishing capitalism and strangling our economy. When are we going to wake up, Republicans and Democrats, and learn that more money in government means more money wasted. Economics 101, Laissez Faire means "hands off". More government intrusion into our economy will lead to higher debt and an elongated recession.

    December 4, 2012 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  5. Steve

    The DNC can make a strong argument that going over the cliff is the best thing for all. Moreover, the polls indicate the GOP will shoulder the majority of the blame.
    I think we are about to find out what level of arrogance our politicians operate at. What happens here will be noted by voters in many subsequent elections to come.

    December 4, 2012 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  6. GerC

    You've go to be kidding to blame just one side; they are both to blame. The president is presenting a $1.6 TRILLION tax hike without corresponding spending cuts. That's insane! Raise revenue? YES! But I don't want to see the Republicans cave in on revenue increase without significant spending cuts. It is time to take the debt cliff seriously.

    December 4, 2012 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  7. achepotle

    let it happen...programs should be cut and everyone should pay more taxes until the debt is solved.

    December 4, 2012 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  8. Mike S

    This country needs a washout, politically and socioeconomically ... the Fiscal Cliff will provide that.
    It will be painful for a period but we will survive. I am willing to make the scarifies now so my grandchildren have a better a future. Ultimately the country and future generations win...

    December 4, 2012 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  9. NorCalMojo

    Silly pollsters. In 10 years very few people will even remember Boehners name. It's Obama's term, it's Obama's legacy.

    December 4, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  10. IvotedforObama

    Throw the GOP OUT in 2014.

    December 4, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  11. irunner

    When the GOP cut this deal with the Obama administration last year, I'm sure they were betting Obama would lose in November, so the deal was meaningless. Surpise! Surprise! Surprise!

    December 4, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  12. Dnick47

    It is one arty's fauly GOPer... your Party of ideaologues who refuse to compromise staying with their failed policy of not taxing the rich to make the economy grow.... It never worked and it will never work. The funny thing is that if the financial markets fail it will be the Repubs who take the greatest hit... better start finding where the Family Dollar stores are in your community cause when the bottom falls out you'll need to shop there like I and other do now.

    December 4, 2012 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  13. UDidntBuildThat

    I say tax the rich yes!!! The rich will always go where it is more profitable and where their investments will yeild the highest return. So when it becomes more attractive to move their money elsewhere like say China, Hong Kong, & India because of a lower tax rate they will. What the fools that voted for Obama on this tax the rich mantra don't realize is once the money goes elsewhere to other countries, that means it is not here. Resulting in less money fo the handouts. and once they dry up,what will the freeloaders do.
    I lived in a country where this happened before. The people most hurt were the middle class and the poor. The midddle class was wiped out leaving only the very poor and the ruling class or politicians and their rich friends. I see that happening here now. Yes Obama has ruch friends too & they r cleaning up big time. But u don't here that fr his supporters.

    December 4, 2012 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  14. donjgen

    Both sides are the problem. If the democrats are so adamant on increasing taxes for the wealthy then I think it best that the tax cuts expire. With all the spending that the government does it really can't afford to keep the tax rates down for anybody. Practically 50% of Americans don't pay any federal income tax. The budgets proposed so far to reduce spending are very weak and don't address the problems of over spending. Lets talk about it for two years until the next election. maybe the democrats can take back the house and do what they want. They can incease taxes on the wealthy at will and create some new spending programs to benefit the poor.

    December 4, 2012 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  15. Steve

    The president won the election while taking 8 out of 9 of the swing states. This should be clear. WE WANT THE PRESIDENT TO DECIDE! Republicans don't seem to understand that unless Obama proposes something extreme we expect and DEMAND that Republicans accept his leadership and allow his policies to be implemented. Republicans were rejected soundly and for good reason. Allow ALL of Obama's plans to go through. That is why we had an election. Time to give 100% support to the president or step aside.

    December 4, 2012 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  16. GerC

    I might add that falling off the cliff if they can't compromise might be the best thing that happens to the country in the long run because expiration of the Bush tax cuts WILL REVENUE AND CUT SPENDING!

    December 4, 2012 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  17. Steve

    Of course they will get more blame, the majority of Americans want free checks and free stuff. Paying your "fair share" means "pay for me".

    December 4, 2012 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  18. CAGUY

    It is always easy to vote to raise someones elses taxes.

    Obama keep talking about "FAIR" well it is time for it to be "FAIR" time for a Flat tx, EVERYONE pays the same rate. If you make a little $ than you pay a little $ in taxed, if you make more $$, you pay more $ taxes. BUT EVERYONE pay something.

    December 4, 2012 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  19. lance corporal

    and they should, they are clearly the party driving this brinksmanship approach to politics, they are clearly the ones refusing to REALLY compromise
    and bring back sensible regulations on the financial sector so this doesn't keep happening

    December 4, 2012 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  20. Tom

    It's as simple as this: Obama has good judgment, and the republicans don't.

    December 4, 2012 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  21. Ben Coates

    Just because Obama is black and we are paternalistically protecting him. No matter. The country suffers. At some point we;ll hold him accountable. Maybe 20 years after he leaves office.

    BTW, stop acting like the Republicans are trying to repeal the Emancipation Proclamation.

    December 4, 2012 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  22. Webhoncho

    We can debate who's right and who's wrong forever. The fact is that polls consistently show that the Republican-controlled House will get the blame if the Fiscal Cliff crisis isn't resolved. This will result in the Republicans losing significant numbers of House Seats at mid-terms in 2008, possibly loss of control. The thoughtful Republicans who understand this don't follow Republican pollsters or Karl Rove's wishful thinking... Hopefully, they will take control of the Republican dialogue.

    December 4, 2012 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  23. Lindsey

    Let it go over the cliff. Americans will rightly blame Republicans for protecting their wealthy friends and backers and allowing everyone else to suffer, and come 2014 the House will flip to the Democrats. Remember the "government shutdown" during Clinton's presidency. Was Clinton blamed? No. The Republican Congress was blamed. Let it go over the cliff and after the dust settles, we'll pick up the pieces and grin as Republicans are called on the carpet by American voters.

    December 4, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  24. Amazed

    Obama is the new John Gotti...Nothing sticks to him. He is our new teflon don!

    December 4, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  25. Skeptimist

    Confronted with the inevitable effects of irreversible demographic changes in the U.S. population, the GOP has two options:

    1. Make a graceful return to the pre-1980 definition of conservatism that emphasized the positive virtues of reason, prudence and caution in pursuit of long term stability. That could begin to mend the loss of dignity typified by their bizarre conduct in this last campaign season.
    – or –
    2. Continue their shrill pandering to the fears and prejudices of a dwindling constituency while ignoring – or ridiculing – the concerns of a growing majority.

    I am and always have been a conservative and I used to be a republican. I didn't leave the GOP. They left me. But if they sober up, they're welcome back.

    December 4, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
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