Poll: GOP to get more blame than Obama if fiscal cliff talks fail
December 4th, 2012
10:16 AM ET
10 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. mm

    Obama and the democrats are above any criticism by the media and therefore the masses. They are above the law and can do anything they want all the while demonizing Republicans. Welcome to the new America. We are now a one party system. Just like Syria and Egypt. And they call this progressivism.

    December 4, 2012 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  2. tdiamond

    The same people who are blaming congress are the ones who blamed Bush for everything. They are blaming anyone who has an R next to their name. It is a point of arrogance and ignorance to assuem you are always right and the other side is wrong. Both parties and branches are to blame for this mess.

    December 4, 2012 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  3. RickT

    Wait a minute, we voted for Obama to increase taxes on the 2%, NOT the middle class. Does Boehner not remember why Obama was re-elected? For Boehner and the GOP, its business as usual, putting "Party before Country"!

    December 4, 2012 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  4. MrMynor

    All you folks claiming the buck stops with the president would do well to consider the fact that there are 3 governing bodies that must act here – the executive branch and both chambers of the legislative branch. Of those 3, 2 of them are already on the same page, and the one that isn't is refusing to concede any ground. As the saying goes, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink. President Obama has set out what he considers to be the necessary parts of any plan that he would approve. He has given House Republicans a framework (a very loose one, I might add) of how they can get his support, they simply have chosen to ignore it. If the only way to get a deal done is to accept the GOP proposal without a second thought because they refuse to negotiate in good faith, then the failure to make a deal wouldn't be due to a failure to lead, it would be due to a failure to submit.

    December 4, 2012 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  5. SE

    Well, duh!

    Protecting tax cuts for the very, very rich over the needs of the elderly, poor and unemployed will do that.

    December 4, 2012 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  6. Tim

    I can't believe anyone is surprised. 51% of Americans voted for the same President as last time. He burned his bridges with the Republicans when he backdoored the Affordable Health Care Act and treated the GOP like they were puppies who'd made a mess so he rubbed their noses in it. I think it's reprehensible that the Republicans would let us go over the fiscal cliff, but we also elected a President who knows how to campaign, but doesn't know how to get two sides to shake hands. He doesn't understand the way our government works. And the American public doesn't understand that there isn't another vote for congress for six months, so they can be upset and point their fingers all they want but they elected the President, and if he is hated by the GOP, then NOTHING GETS DONE.

    December 4, 2012 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
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