Poll: Americans want compromise in budget battle
February 24th, 2011
10:05 AM ET
9 years ago

Poll: Americans want compromise in budget battle

Washington (CNN) - By a 2-1 margin, Americans want lawmakers in Congress to seek compromise to avoid a government shutdown, according to a new national poll.

The USA Today/Gallup survey also indicated that the public is divided over whether President Barack Obama and Democrats or Republicans in Congress are doing a better job in the battle over the federal budget.

Forty-two percent of people questioned in the poll said that Republicans are doing a better job handling the budget crisis, with 39 percent giving the nod to the president and Democrats and 16 percent unsure. The GOP's 3 point advantage is within the survey's sampling error.

By a 37-33 percent margin, independent voters said that Republicans are doing a better job. One in 4 independents said they were undecided.

The poll indicated that 6 out of 10 want the lawmakers to agree to a compromise, while nearly one-third said that lawmakers should hold out for the basic budget plan they want, even if it means the federal government shuts down. Seven out of 10 Democrats and just over 6 out of 10 independents favor compromise, with Republicans favoring a compromise by a narrower 49-42 percent margin.

The survey indicated that one out of four said that the GOP's budget plans go too far in cutting federal spending, an equal amount said the plan is just right, and 37 percent answered it doesn't cut enough.

Thirteen percent said that the president and Democrats' plan goes to far, 29 percent said it's just right and nearly half answered it doesn't go far enough.

A House Republican bill, which passed the chamber on Saturday by a 235-189 margin, basically along party lines, slashed more than $60 billion in federal funding for the seven months remaining in the 2011 fiscal year. The fight over spending now moves to the Senate, but with Obama threatening to veto the House bill and Senate Democratic leaders calling the GOP's cuts "extreme," the possibility of a government shutdown looms.

Only eight days remain before the current resolution funding federal agencies expires.

The USA Today/Gallup poll was conducted February 22, with 1,004 national adults questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus four percentage points.

- Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn

Filed under: Budget • Congress • Polls
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. ThinkAgain

    The Republicans' proposed cuts are to programs that account for less than 15% of the total budget and are completely ideological in nature. These programs also help average Americans and, in particular, women and children.

    If the Republicans were really serious about reducing the deficit, they should repeal the extension of the Bush tax cuts, which is going to contribute $780 BILLION to the deficit. They also need to be proposing cuts to defense spending, especially to those programs the military itself say are obsolete and/or redundant.

    Trying to "balance the budget" on the backs of the average American and those most vulnerable in our society is wrong. Plain and simple.

    February 24, 2011 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  2. Spending our Way to Financial Collapse

    Compromise??? HELL NO! I want spending SLASHED. This stinking government is broke (financailly and in other ways) and they need to STOP THE SPENDING AND BORROWING. It is clear the Democrats will cut NOTHING and are willing to shutdown the government with their insanity. If they can't a paltry $4 Billion to cut then they all need to go in 2012. This country simply can't afford these spending and taxing addicts in DC anymore. The Democrats think the answer is unions and government dependents rioting in our streets to force "the rich" to give up ALL that they make in order to support these deadbeats.

    February 24, 2011 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  3. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    I don't see a darn thing Republicans have done about the budget, all they've done is complain and campaign as usual.

    February 24, 2011 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  4. gt

    ya think... roll back spending to 2008...ugh..get along get it done....

    February 24, 2011 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  5. John, PA

    Compromise, NOT a Chance! In what nation did you take this poll?
    9 out of 10 where I work don't want compromise. We voted the Democrats out in 2010 and Obama and the 23 Senators up for election in 2012 better understand their jobs are on the line they will be replaced. We are at depression levels of employment in America our government debt is at crisis levels.
    Here is what we want:
    Repeal every law passed by the last Democratic-controlled congress!
    Repeal every regulation put into place by the Obama administration!
    Remove every “zar” put into place by the Obama administration!
    Getting the government out of private companies and our lives and pockets!
    Cut taxes!
    Close the border!
    End ear marks!
    It’s time for the new Congress to investigate, prosecute and put these people in prison.

    February 24, 2011 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  6. PalmReader

    Fact is, three quarters of Americans probably don't know and could care less about what is happening in Congress - all of them quite content to let Corporate CEOs make financial decisions for them, believing as Gospel each and every word shoved at them 24/7 by our Corporate sponsored news media out to make a quick buck off a fractured populace.

    February 24, 2011 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
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