As reports of a possible deal to avert the much publicized ‘Fiscal Cliff’ materialize two-thirds of Americans are in favor of compromise in order to achieve that goal.
By a 67-22% margin the vast majority of Americans interviewed in a recent Gallup survey prefer compromise over their leaders standing firmly behind the core beliefs and principles. Backed up by a recent CNN / ORC poll most believe the cliff to be a serious economic issue. 50% suggest the automatic tax increases and spending cuts that would take effect represent a ‘major problem’, whereas 20% consider it to be a ‘crisis’. 24% think that going over the fiscal cliff will result in only ‘minor problems’ with only 4% believing it having little to no effect on the overall economy.
Despite the overwhelming number of Americans who view the fiscal cliff as both a major economic issue and one that requires compromise in order to solve, opinions differ sharply between certain ideological groupings. By a margin of 44-39% those who label themselves as being ‘very conservative’ favor their right-wing political figures standing firm rather than conceding ground to the other side. Liberals meanwhile are largely in favor of compromise to the tune of a 74-18% margin. The 29% of those polled who label themselves as ‘conservative’ but not ‘very conservative’ favor compromise by a 63-28% margin. Moderates meanwhile are closely aligned with liberals in advocating concessions by a 73-15% split.
American voters won’t be happy with either party if a deal isn’t worked out over the next several hours, but more blame will be laid at the feet of congressional Republicans than President Obama. According to a recent poll from Rasmussen Reports 44% blame the GOP for not having negotiated a deal to this point against 36% who believe Obama should shoulder most of the criticism for the failure. 62% of voters according to the poll think the President and congress need to work together to cut a deal avoiding the cliff against just 18% who disagree and 20% who remain uncertain.
While both sides are likely to shoulder much of the blame Rasmussen polling suggest the Republican Party has been more adversely effected by the stalled negotiation proceedings. By a crushing margin of 93-5% the vast majority of Americans disapprove of the performance of congress. That’s the lowest level of support this year. 69% believe congress to be doing a ‘poor’ job and only one in a hundred voters think the body has been performing their duties well.
President Obama meanwhile is approved of by considerable majorities of the public in spite of the tough economic conditions. Obama’s current approval rating as measured by Rasmussen stands at 57%. Speaker of the House John Boehner on the other hand has seen his popularity plummet of late. His current approval to disapproval margin of 31-51% is lower than former Speaker and Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi (37-50%). The leaders of the Senate fair ever worse with Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell at a 27-36% margin and Majority Leader Harry Reid with the lowest approval of all, 24-42%.
The Democrats have opened up an eleven-point lead on their Republican rivals on the generic congressional ballot, 46-35%. That’s the largest lead they’ve held for the entire Obama Presidency and provides further evidence that the GOP is losing the critical PR war.