Politics and Public Opinion, Polls

The fiscal cliff and the book on Washington: What you may have missed in this week’s polls

Gallup Fiscal Cliff 1-11-2013

Post-mortems on the Fiscal Cliff: Gallup was first out of the box to gauge reactions to the fiscal cliff deal with a one-day (January 3) survey, and the organization found 43% approving and 45% disapproving of the “agreement to avoid the fiscal cliff tax increases and spending cuts.” Attitudes were predictably split along partisan and ideological lines. Sixty-seven percent of Democrats approved while almost as many Republicans (65%) disapproved. Gallup wrote that “the strong rank-and file Republican opposition … appears to be in line with the opposition among Republican House members.” In the poll, around a quarter had no opinion of Harry Reid or Mitch McConnell’s handling of the negotiations. The president fared better than John Boehner (46% approved of the former and 31% the latter).

The ABC News/Washington Post poll taken January 2-6 also showed a mixed reaction, (45% approved of the agreement to avoid the fiscal cliff, 38% disapproved). As in the Gallup poll there were sharp partisan divisions with 66% of Democrats approving and 63% of Republicans disapproving. Obama fared much better (52% approved) than did Boehner (31%).

Pew’s January 3-6 poll also gave the new legislation a mixed verdict, with 38% approving and 41% disapproving of “new legislation on taxes.” Digging deeper, they found that people thought it was more likely to hurt (46%) than help (36%) the economy, hurt (52%) rather than help (30%) people like you, and hurt (44%) rather than help (33%) the deficit. In their poll, people thought Obama (57%) got more of what he wanted than the Republican leaders in Congress (20%), and far more approved of the way the president handled the negotiations (48%) than the Republican leaders in Congress (19%).

The Book on Washington: Although President Obama did better than the Republicans in the polls on the fiscal cliff, no one in Washington gets high marks today. Here’s a preview of the polling evidence from the new issue of AEI’s Political Report, due out Tuesday.

Sixty-five percent of registered voters told Fox News in December that the federal government is broken; only 7% said it is working pretty well. In a Gallup/USA Today poll from December, 77% said the way politics in Washington works these days is causing serious harm to the United States. Only 19% said the effects are not that serious. The sentiment is broadly bipartisan: 68% of Democrats, 79% of independents, and 87% of Republicans agree it is causing serious harm.

A November poll from the Center on Congress at Indiana University found that only 1% thought members of Congress listen and care about what people like them think most of the time. Sixty-seven percent say they don’t care or listen often.

One thought on “The fiscal cliff and the book on Washington: What you may have missed in this week’s polls

  1. The poll results have reflected a big challenge Obama’s administration is likely to face in passing unpopular laws like FISCAL CLIFF!

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