Americans are split about evenly on whether the sky will fall if the U.S. debt limit isn’t raised by Aug. 2 and whether it’s just a matter of que sera, sera — whatever will be, will be, according to a new poll from the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press
Fully 40 percent of the respondents to the July 15-17 poll of 764 adults said that, from what they have read and heard, they agree with the Obama administration’s contention that the debt ceiling must be raised to avoid an economic catastrophe, while 39 percent don’t envision major economic problems if the ceiling sticks. And 21 percent say they just don’t know.
Party lines come into play in the results, with Pew discovering that Republicans don’t see a problem by a 53-30 percent margin, while Democrats envision a disaster by a 56-28 percent margin. Among independents, the breakdown is 43 percent anticipating no problem going beyond the Aug. 2 deadline and 32 percent saying the limit absolutely must rise before then.
Tossing in tea party perceptions also moves the percentages, Pew found. Tea party Republicans are the most skeptical about doom beyond Aug. 2, with 65 percent of Republicans and GOP-leaning independents who agree with the tea party not expecting a problem.
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