Poll: GOP to get more blame than Obama if fiscal cliff talks fail
December 4th, 2012
10:16 AM ET
9 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. Ricke1949

    Poll before the second Iraq war; Do you support the Invasion of Iraq? 75% yes 25% no.
    Poll are you better than the average driver? 85% yes, 15% no
    Polls have their problems
    Polls have their problems.

    December 4, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  2. Facts don't Lie

    @ Ancient Texan....

    somehow I have a hunch that people such as yourself hope the economy is NOT better in 2014 or even worse. Why not put all that bitterness aside and work together as we should to get our nation moving forward again. Or is that such a hard thing to do?

    December 4, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  3. Darryl

    This whole thing is so discusting. The republicans are just going to be voted OUT of office. They are stopping the growth and millions of jobs from the people of this country. They have been doing this for 4 years and really do NOT care at all. They created the mess and they want JUST the middle class and the poor to foot the bill while the rest of society " The Upper Class " AKA The Million & Billion ares get a free ride. This President will not bend and will not give in to anymore corruption, gambling, cheating, and demanding the rest of us pay the bill. This stuff has gone on for over 20 years and it is now going to stop once and for all. The GREED is OUT of control in Wallstreet ect. They are the ones guilty of " Entitlements " not the 47% they would like everynoe believe. The POTUS and the 98% will fight this to the bitter end and we will prevail with determination. We did it with the re-election and we will keep it up now.

    December 4, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  4. Mike

    Last time I check, we elected a president, not a king. The constitution was written with a system of checks and balances. Everyone might want to actually read the document, rather than just assume that whatever comes out of the white house is right. And while I have no problem having a higher tax on folks in higher income brackets, the math that everyone has run says it's a drop in the bucket of what is needed. The leaders need to actually look at finding real solutions to financial problems, rather than sniping over marketing campaigns to make voters feel good or bad about one party or the other.

    December 4, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  5. YeahRight

    How do I just KNOW that if Republicans did what i12bphil suggests and things go RIGHT... He'll still deny the Democrats were successful. It's so easy to postulate on extremes because you know they will never happen...

    December 4, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  6. ru serious

    Of course they would, the same people who responded to this survey are the exact same people who elected Obama. Elections do have consequences. Too bad, we are mortgaging our children's futures but hey, its all about US and what WE can get, screw them and screw tomorrow.

    December 4, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  7. Jimbojoe

    The irony of it all! "I'm sick of GOP taking the blame for everything" when Barack was the one blamed for things like the economy not completely recovering in 4 short years, spending too much (when congress is the only branch in government that is allowed to spend) and GAS PRICES being too high of all things.

    It doesn't mean anything to say "I'm sick of the blame on the GOP" when the GOP has done many obstructionist things worthy of blame.

    December 4, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  8. TommyTT

    Some odd comments on this board. Some folks seem to think that "nearly every President from JFK knew that raising taxes during a recession or recovery is absolutely the WRONG THING to do." Unfortunately, that idea is factually challenged. Every successful US President who faced an unbalanced budget raised taxes as part of a program to balance that budget, whether or not a recession was underway. Meanwhile, even after the Democrats' proposed tax increases, we will all (including the very rich) still be taxed at a lower rate than we were, say, 15 years ago.

    December 4, 2012 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  9. Reality time for the house

    Obama was elected to balance the budget and that included making the upper 2% pay their "fair" share. The election was not about putting the Romney Ryan plan in action. The middle class can't handle any more taxes heapped upon them, PERIOD! Those on Social Security certainly can't handle any added taxes. We are becoming a nation of haves and have nots. Any reason the have nots are rebelling! Corporate CEO's are becoming greedy bastards that want it all and want their slaves to work longer hours for less pay so there stock will raise and they can make even more. They need to pay their fair share, The cost of food and gas has gone ever skyward while paychecks have gone down or not even kept pace with inflation.

    December 4, 2012 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  10. Dustin Goldsen

    All through the debt ceiling crisis last year Republicans claimed Obama and the democrats were not negotiating in good faith. Then when they finally did cut a deal Speaker John Boehner claimed "we got 99% of what we wanted". A week later we lost our AAA rating.

    That shows you just what the GOP means when they say they are deadlocked. It means Democrats are not caving completely to everything the GOP wants.

    December 4, 2012 11:25 am at 11:25 am |

    This poll proves people in this country are stupid. The dictator in chief is responsible for his budget, assuming he ever passes one in his lifetime.

    December 4, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  12. Ames IA

    All you need to know is that after the last budget show down circus Boehner commented "I'm pretty happy, we got 98% of what we were looking for." In football if a quarterback gives that kind of touchdown dance at midfield in the first quarter you can guess what the first linebacker with a clear shot will do the next time around! It is clear Obama found his backbone and isn't going to lay down and let a 9% approval rating congress roll over him.

    December 4, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  13. Jake

    Folks...use your noodle. If Republicans are so right, then why do they control or represent the poorest states in the USA? Why? Surely, if their wisdom and expertise was on target, then the poor Red States would all be doing very well, at the top. Fact is...they don't care about their state being forever at the bottom and poor. They have these folks so brainwashed with their BS that they don't see what's in front and all around them. Reality time folks, Republicans haven't done right by real America in a very long time.

    December 4, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  14. UDidntBuildThat

    Blaming the 1/3 minority instead of the 2/3rds majority shows just how ignorant of an electorate we have. But then again we already knew that b/c we live in country where a show like Two and a half Men is the number 1 show in the country and where more people vote on American Idol than in elections. The free loaders out number us. So those of us with our own buisineses and money should look to another country to live and leave the free loaders to fight with each other.
    "The problem with taxking the rich is that you run out of rich people to tax." -Iron Lady Margaret Thatcher.

    December 4, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  15. Minnesotan

    The GOP is becoming synonymous with failure. But then, their policies, attitudes and economics are all geared towards themselves and not the betterment of America.

    December 4, 2012 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  16. pago

    over the cliff it will be his legacy not nthe speakers.

    December 4, 2012 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  17. Mack

    The Republicans couldn't hold President Obama to one term as they so forcefully tried to do, so now they are trying to derail him by making the country fall off the fiscal cliff. If that happens, the blame will be placed rightfully on the GOP. I cannot believe how the GOP would let the country suffer because they do not like this President who is doing a very good job despite the blatent opposition he has in Congress. Boehner says the President needs to lead, but the GOP will now allow him to lead.

    December 4, 2012 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  18. betterdays

    Since November 6th, I don't care who America blames. How's that, CNN? I don't care!

    I personally blame the past fifty years of ill-conceived federal government schemes: military, social program, or otherwise. But I realize that a lot of Americans can't even find their own state on a map, so they can blame whomever they wish, and I shall ignore them. Thanks anyway!

    December 4, 2012 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  19. judith

    Of course the Republicans would be to blame. The voters reelected this President and by a huge majority favor a roll back of Bush's big fat wet kiss to the rich. Boehner is looking like a moron and his party is doing nothing to help the country.

    December 4, 2012 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  20. Fedup

    I have several relatives with small businesses, all of whom are now trying to sell their businesses due to what the Presidents plan is doing to small business. They are going to be taking a hard hit. The Pres. also wants sole power to raise the debt ceiling whenever HE wants to. He is trying to take away from the balance that was designed into our government. I was not happy with him before, but on hearing about this blank check, I now am firmly set against him. The Republicans are certainly not perfect, but at least they want to address the national debt issue and get things back under control. Who has the right plan? maybe neither party right now, but I am Fed up with the Presidents smooth yet arrogant ways.

    December 4, 2012 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  21. The REAL Truth...

    @avalanche – Obama got 51% of the vote. Romney got 49%. Obama and the Senate represent the 51%. The GOP House represents the remaining 49%. Seems fair that 49% of the population would be represented by 1/3 of the government.
    Yet another miserable right wing fail! along with MATH101... there are 100 Senators (55 are Dem, 45 are GOP) and 435 Representatives (of which 201 are Dem, with 6 non-voting members)... so your 49% are represented by 279 (234 GOP House + 45 Senate) versus the 256 Dems in office... which is MORE people than the 51% who voted for Obama.
    Add in Obama + cabinet (13) and that's still LESS than the seats occupied by the GOP.
    And that is why nothing will get done and we'll go over the fiscal cliff.

    December 4, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  22. MeanOldMan

    Obama ran on what he is doing now and won. Despite what the republicans on here are trying to spin, it was not a status quo election at all. The house is still republican but more votes were cast for democrats in the house than for republicans. The republicans are there cause they did a good job of gerrymandering their districts. A practice that I feel is part of the problem in the house. House members don't represent the American people. They represent their own little specially drawn districts taylored to maintain their own power and ideology. Dems retained and increased seats in the Senate, Seats in the house and retained the White house. If it turned around all we would hear from the right is their usual "It's my way or the highway" that we heard for the last two years. The American people chose the path that Obama is taking and if the republicans don't stop their nonsense more of them will be gone after 2014. Trickle down is dead. It doesn't work, never has and never would. It is nothing but a practice of extracting wealth from the American economy and giving it to a select few at the top who then invests it in china or india or hides it in the Caymans or Switzerland. As the republicans were so quick to shout after 2010, "Elections have consequences". That cuts both ways and this time they are the ones that got cut.

    December 4, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  23. Mike

    You know it's sad too see what America has turned into......Nanny Nation! What's the Nanny Nation going too do when they take the 2% and tax them 100% and they dont have the money they need? Ooops, guess then we really will see what amateur hour the White House will look like. That's what Americans dont understand you can tax the 2% for the 100% you want and it still wont be enough. Guess what America they're going too look at the other 98% and then your gonna say why us? The 98% times coming when they will have too pay up cant look for anyone else.

    December 4, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  24. mineisnotyours

    If people are dumb enough to think this is just one parties fault, I have land to sell you on the moon. Our government as a whole is full of morons including the president. Any party that agrees with giving the president unfettered power to raise the national debt limit at there choosing needs to have there heads checked and thrown out of office. that is like giving charlie Manson a gun and expecting him to use it only in self defense.The more we make the more they take and tell us they need more. At this point in the game the states would be better off on their own. Just get rid of the federal govt they have proven time and time again they are only good at creating messes and never willing to clean them up.

    December 4, 2012 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  25. Brett

    Of course Americans are going to be mad if we go off the fiscal cliff, and then their taxes go up. But it is fine to say that we should take more of someone else's money. That's "fair". As opposed to looking at government spending which is at ridiculous levels with little result. I'd be fine with having my income taxes raised so long as there is a plan in place to significantly cut spending to the point where we have no deficit and are in fact, reducing our debt. I hope we go off the cliff at this point . . .that will ensure that programs that need to be cut, get cut, including military spending. The ages for receiving Social Security and Medicare need to be raised for everyone currently under 55 (which I am). We are going to pay now or pay later, and I would just assume pay now so my children don't have to . . .we owe them.

    December 4, 2012 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
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