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. jamie

    I am far from rich and do not believe the federal government should take 40% of anyone's earned income.

    December 4, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  2. Holmes

    I am an idependant and all I can say is that even with all 3 branches of government the dems couldnt pass a budget, so they cant even agree with themselves much less the repubs who dems would throw under the bus just for the sake of doing it screw the small people cause it isnt any of the people in washington who are gonna feel the pain. You dems need to realize its not just the repubs and the repubs need to do the same the dems are busy doing victory laps and making the repubs look bad the repubs are at least purposing something other then no do it my way or f off

    December 4, 2012 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  3. hahaney

    Social Security and Medicare are both running a surplus right now. Neither have added one cent to the deficit.

    December 4, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  4. Mike S

    Obama is not my president.... The GOP will be heralded in history by taking a stand against the Obama dictatorship.

    December 4, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  5. Bob

    Since the GOP is trying to force Obama to stop his insane spending, I a not surprise that there are those that would blame the GOP. If Obama is force to stop spending like there is no tomorrow some of them may lose their free goverenment money and acually have to EARN thier money instead of taking from those that aren't afrain to work for what they get

    December 4, 2012 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  6. Montykoolaid

    99.9% of all republican posts screaming "HE IS RAISING TAXES!!!!" are absolutely stupid.

    This isnt a tax increase. This is an end of the TEMPORARY BUSH TAX CUTS THAT WERE MEANT TO BE TEMPORARY BECAUSE OF THE EFFECT THEY WOULD HAVE ON THE DEFECIT.

    December 4, 2012 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  7. James

    Gotta love it. Our government built in a "poison pill" because they couldn't agree on anything and lo and behold we may get hit with it because they still can't agree. If this passes I blame both the democrats and the GOP for putting us into this mess.

    How bout this guys – you need a few more months they pass another resolution to extend the deadline here. Setup a committee of 6 democrats and 6 republicans and hammer out something. If government was able to pass the poison pill resolution then they can certainly pass regulation to extend it.

    December 4, 2012 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  8. Sam

    When doesn't CNN and the other mainstream media DNC tool outlets blame Republicans? Hey remember when Bush won his second term and the MSM was telling everyone how Bush needed to compromise to heal the divided nation. Now that the MSM's guy won it's a different tone – GOP must cave on its core principles since Obama won 60 to 57 million. Well here's a new idea, Obama should compromise for a change and put some actual spending cuts on the table then discuss tax reform in a slow, public, transparent, & meaningful way.

    December 4, 2012 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  9. dnokc

    Mr. Obama said we would NOT go over the fiscal cliff! Now he say's if we do it's NOT his fault! Gotta love it!

    December 4, 2012 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  10. jim

    The problem is nobody is paying 40%. Most of the rich pay less then 20%. I only make around 50k a yr and I would pay more if would help the country.

    December 4, 2012 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  11. thermy1

    Why isn't anybody saying anything about the unconstitutional power grab the president is trying to pass, To subvert the constitution to take the power to raise the debt ceiling and give the office unlimited power to spend. This would be a disastrous move on anyone’s part to remove this check and balance and allow unlimited spending power.

    December 4, 2012 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  12. jimmy

    Taxes are just leagalized stealing.

    December 4, 2012 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  13. Big Al

    It's time to increase taxes on everyone. Congress needs more money to spend so we should give it to them. I also want more money to go to Israel.

    December 4, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  14. Sashatree

    Of COURSE the GOP is going to get all the blame! They deserve it! The GOP created the fiscal cliff all by themselves when trying to strong arm Obama during the last debt ceiling fiasco – and now it's come home to roost on their heads! Obama ran on letting the Bush tax cuts for the richest 2% of Americans expire, and preserving them for the other 98% - and he won a RESOUNDING VICTORY by doing so. Apparently, the GOP is refusing to see the truth (wow...do I see a pattern here?!) that they are completely out of step with the vast majority of Americans! The GOP has created this toxic mess in DC with their bratty, immature, intractable, unrealistic, insane, nasty and mean spirited behavior – and Americans have HAD IT UP TO HERE WITH THE GOPs exploits! So, if we go over the cliff, remember - THE GOP CREATED THIS FISCAL CLIFF AND THEY ARE SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR PUSHING OUR NATION OVER IT! They need to be run out of town completely in the 2014 mid-terms!!

    December 4, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  15. Bib Boogg

    The revenue acquired by taxing the rich would run the federal government for about a week. This is just a "fairness" tax that the president wants to make his base happy. It's all politics as usual. That side of the aisle has seized the narative, so why would the chosen one take the blame? He always does everything right.

    December 4, 2012 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  16. wmms

    The GOP deserves the blame for our economic disaster. They have been out to punish America for electing Mr. Obama since 2008.

    December 4, 2012 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  17. NYBrotha

    Everyone should pay a flat tax on income. Make everyone who earns an income pay 25% and call it good.

    December 4, 2012 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  18. cbfop

    Shut down comrade obama's out of control spending and refusal to negotiate on spending.Say no to obama and communism

    December 4, 2012 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  19. Bob

    I'm in the middle class, but it taking any person as much as Obama wants to tax the people in upper income brackets is theft. Plain and simple. Between federal and state taxes, many of these people are already paying over 60% of their income in taxes, while half of Americans aren't paying federal taxes at all. Obama needs to reassess what "fair share" means.

    December 4, 2012 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  20. Tom

    I am somewhat shocked that people believe the blame lays on the republicans. They have indicated a willingness to comprimise while the democrats will only say "Our way or the highway" How is this the republicans fault? What happened to everyone pitching in? Oh no thats right, the democrats only want the rich to pay, and then are unwilling to make any cuts in spending. How can this country be sooooo stupid? Obama and Peloisi will bankrupt this county! But thats ok they will blame Bush anyway!

    December 4, 2012 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  21. Golden Girl

    I hope this doesn't mean Obama is fine to send us over the fiscal cliff as long as he doesn't get the blame.

    December 4, 2012 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  22. ga smith

    At least the GOP is trying! Instead of dems saying “not good enough” they should start working together and start compromising.

    December 4, 2012 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  23. markttexas

    It most certainly is the Republicans fault we have no deal. They try to make it seem like they are so worried about raising taxes and the budget.. a bunch of bs. The only reason why they are making this so difficult is because they cannot believe that a African American President got re-elected for another four years. Obama needs to stick to his plan and not let the top earners in the nation get away with not paying there fair share of taxes plain and simple. Romney only cared about the wealthiest Americans.

    December 4, 2012 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  24. babooph

    Twice they lost & twice they act in spite of the middle class-Nixon dreamed of a middle class tax cut & massive military reduction following the USSR collapse...

    December 4, 2012 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  25. K

    Sam: But there is a bit of a difference. First, Obama beat Romney 332-206. That's 126 electoral votes. In 2004, Bush beat Kerry 286-252. That's only 34 votes. So this is, in fact, a different situation. Moreover, poll after poll says that by a 60-40 margin, most people want taxes to go up on the upper 2% of U.S. incomes. So Obama clearly has more wind in his sail than did Bush in 2004 (when he wanted to wreck social security by privatizing it ... that would have worked out well, given the crash he caused in 2008).

    December 4, 2012 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
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