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. Darth Vader's Mentor

    "The Washington Post/Pew Research Center poll was conducted November 29-December 12, with 1,003 adults nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points."

    So the survey isn't finished yet (December 12) and they've already blamed the GOP? LoL The fiscal cliff isn't the problem. It's just the symptom of a much greater economic problem that's going to hit us soon.

    The Republicans ought to go along with Obama but remind him of the consequences. As the economy continues to get worsen (anyone see Darden's latest report?) despite the BLS (Bureau of Lies and Scams) employment reports and our credit rating collapses then you do the I told you so and then blame the polls and the press. Make sure every 2016 Democratic hopeful echoes the President's words in a video tape. If what the GOP fears will happen does happen, then Obama is cooked. If nothing happens, then the GOP can maneuver to fight another day.

    The American people are being scammed. The other scam is that TARP made money, which isn't true, yet Mittens wouldn't use it in his campaign because the GOP is just as complicit as the Democrats.

    December 4, 2012 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  2. wmms

    The wealthy have been enjoying their tax break for 10 years now. They promised to invest that money and create jobs. They lied.

    December 4, 2012 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  3. madelefant

    Tax churches. Problem solved.

    December 4, 2012 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  4. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Of course the GOP will be blamed because when they picked an idiot like Sarah Palin to be next in line to the presidency they lost all their credibility.

    December 4, 2012 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  5. amac

    We had a perfect opportunity to "throw the bums out" last month..... so why didn't we?

    December 4, 2012 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  6. Jimbojoe

    Of course both parties are to blame. Most everyone realizes that. However you're deluded to be thinking both are EQUALLY to blame when the GOP is the side with a pledge to refuse to raise taxes when we absolutely need to raise taxes. The GOP has been the party of obstruction the entire way and they rightfully hold most of the blame.

    December 4, 2012 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  7. 2km N of GZero

    If talks fail, Grover Norquist gets blamed and we can vote him out of office. Oh wait, we CAN'T vote him out of office...

    December 4, 2012 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  8. Shante'smom

    I SAY BOTH PARTIES SHOULD GET TO WORK, PUT ASIDE THIER IDEAOLOGIES AND DO WHAT THE COUNTRY AND THE AMERICAN PEOPLE NEED TO SET IT ON A SUCCESSFUL PATH. It can be done, it all can't come from the poor and middle class and neither should it all come from the top 2%. Compromises must be made. It's time to do what is right!
    Otherwise we will vote you out! Work until it gets done.

    December 4, 2012 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  9. ga smith

    Here’s an idea CNN…Start being more neutral in your reporting efforts. There is a reason your viewership is down. Start telling both sides of this fiscal cliff issue so we know the “whole” story.

    December 4, 2012 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  10. Brandon M.

    Thank you MontyKoolAid. That is EXACTLY right, though you would never know it bc this whole deal has been framed so poorly. We already had 1 extension, and now it's time to revert back to where we were over a decade ago. Additionally, the whole military cut argument is false. We are talking about cutting any INCREASE in spending, not raw numbers. In other words, if, let's say, we start with 100 and a proposed increase will be 20% taking us to 120, what they are talking about is instead going to 105...

    December 4, 2012 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  11. Save the Rich, Vote GOP

    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
    _______________________________________________________________________________________________

    Holmes – you need to study some more so you actually understand the role of the three branches of government, how bills are passed, and what filibuster means. Then get back to us.

    December 4, 2012 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  12. Brian

    Hahaney what planet are you from? Montykoolaid the tax rates have been cut for 8-12 years. If you increase them it is raising taxes. Also, for the people who's taxes are staying the same is that a tax cut like Obama touts?

    December 4, 2012 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  13. The REAL Truth...

    @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.
    --------------------------------
    So why is it that you infer one should trust right leaning pollsters like Gallup and Rasmussen ??????? Because they are not "liberal" ??
    Perhaps most of the right wing are part of the economicallly clueless majority you suggest ??

    December 4, 2012 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  14. GaryB

    For the last four years, the Republican idea of compromise has been "Give me 99% of what I want in the bill and I might vote for it". For instance, the left took pains to include a lot of Republican ideas in Obamacare (including the individual mandate), giving the Republicans well more than 50% of what they wanted, yet not a single Republican voted for the bill. And the list goes on from there. It's time the Democrats took a stand against the party who refuses to compromise and who seems to only want to represent the interests of the richest 5% of the country.

    December 4, 2012 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  15. Dennis Grotke

    So if the Republicans get the blame – so what? The damage is done. Obama needs to compromise his almighty stand. The Republicans need to give just a little more. Spending has to be addressed in some way but the O-man of course won't have that. What kind of a president will take pride in dooming the economy just to say – the Repubicans did it? Yuk

    December 4, 2012 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  16. JCMars

    This poll just shows how uninformed the American Public is. Some more electioneering by CNN for Obama. Obama change will fund the government for 14 days with a promise that spending cuts would come later. If you believe Obama, I'd like to sell you the Ambassador Bridge. I can get you a great deal. The Republicans have nothing to lose on this one. The law is the law. Let it stand as is. Republicans get what they want (spending reductions (not "cuts") and Democrats get what they want more taxes for everyone.

    December 4, 2012 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  17. NOLATechy

    @Holmes: You call yourself an "Independent" voter, yet you sound just like a Fox News watching, full-blown Republican. If you do your research, you'd find that even though the Democrats had the "majority" at the beginning of Obama's first term, they did not have enough of a majority to override the fillibusters imposed upon them by the Republicans. It takes 60 votes to override a fillibuster, and there were only 54 Democrats. So, even with a majority, they couldn't pass anything to help the economy because of the Republican "party of NO!" Republicans have been, and will continue to be OBSTRUCTIONISTS! Time to vote them out and give the Democrats a 60 count majority and maybe then we will see some reforms that will help the economy in this country instead of repeating the same policies that didn't work under Regan's second term, Bush 1's term, and Bush 2's two terms. All you have to do is look at the voter confidence index for each president since Carter and you'll see that the Republican policies ended in very low VCI's for these Republican Presidents with Republican polices.

    December 4, 2012 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  18. catori

    "The Fiscal Cliff" was the agreement in Congress, agreeing to spending cuts, should negotiated cuts not be made.

    Personally, I see equal blame, should no compromise be found. Equal blame for both Republicans and Democrats.............in Congress.

    December 4, 2012 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  19. CA Republican

    Last time I checked, Obama is President for four more years. The buck stops with the President. Which means, going over the fiscal cliff is his issue and his mistake.

    If he can't reach a bipartisan agreement with Dems and the GOP, then he should step down and let someone who can.

    He needs to remember he only won by 3 million votes and actually find a middle ground as about half the voters didn't even want him again.

    December 4, 2012 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  20. JASON

    Like the saying goes " You can't fool everyone all the time". The effects of GOPnomics have been exposed for the lies they are. The tax cuts for the filthy rich never created any prosperity for America. Now we are at the gates of hades and the safety nets are the lock to the gateway .The rethugs are now telling us remove the lock or else we will say no! How pathetic can the neocons get? The second biggest lie is that the rich create jobs. So where are the jobs from the Bush taxcuts? Demand powered by a vibrant middle class creates jobs, not a rich slob like Romney stealing pensions! The third biggest lie is " Compassionate conservative" it's like big foot many have heard about it but barely anyone has seen it. For any country to prosper is to have a vibrant manufacturing jobs. A retarded republican dependent on socialsecurity would advise go get an education. Bsut as we have seen 33% of American(GOP voters) can't even think for themselves let alone think about engineering.

    December 4, 2012 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  21. Wow, just wow

    Incredible. The people have spoken, the election is over. You disgruntled losers and supposed "independents" posting here aren't fooling anyone. Crawl back into your collective holes.

    December 4, 2012 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  22. bigboxes

    Vote out the GOP and solve the problem. I can't believe that we can vote in Dems in the White House and the Senate, but still give the GOP the majority in the House. Duh. Vote the obstructionists out and return the economy back to the 90's.

    December 4, 2012 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  23. JustSomeRandomGuyPostingAmazingComments

    Darth Vader's Mentor Said: "The Washington Post/Pew Research Center poll was conducted November 29-December 12, with 1,003 adults nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points." So the survey isn't finished yet (December 12) and they've already blamed the GOP? LoL" IT's a typo. The poll went until Dec 2.

    December 4, 2012 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  24. Janet

    OMG – if we all drive off the fiscal cliff, does that mean that people like Mitt Romney won't be able to install carpeting on their car elevators? Oh, the horror, the horror!

    December 4, 2012 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  25. Ramrod

    Democrats want to raise taxes, Republicans want to reduce spending. The cliff will achieve both and take us back to the Clinton days. As I remember there was a budget surplus back then. So what is the problem? Maybe Medicare part D. Work on that.

    December 4, 2012 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
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