WashPost-ABC Poll: Both Sides Must Compromise for Debt Deal

Wednesday, 20 Jul 2011 10:29 AM

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The American public blames both President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans for the failure to reach a compromise on raising the debt ceiling. A majority of GOP voters also favor changes the president has pushed, including higher income tax rates for the wealthy, a new Washington Post-ABC News poll found.

The poll found that nearly 6 in 10 believe Obama has not been open enough to compromise. Among the GOP, 58 percent say their leaders are not doing enough to make a deal. Independents, by a margin of 79 percent, say Republicans are not willing to make a deal, while 62 percent say the same of the president.

A majority of those polled view the president as more committed to protecting the interests of the middle class and small businesses. However, large majorities see the GOP as protecting the interests of big business and Wall Street, the Post reported.

Should an economic breakdown occur, 42 percent would hold Republican responsible, while 36 percent would blame Obama. Public discontent is also high with 80 percent either dissatisfied or angry about the way the federal government is working. Such numbers could have consequences in 2012, with 63 percent reporting they are inclined to look for new representatives. The number is the highest recorded in Post-ABC News Polls.

The poll also revealed a split between Republicans and Democrats and their leadership. Democrats oppose increasing the age for Medicare and changes to Social Security, two items Obama has placed on the table. Nearly half of all Republicans support the idea that a plan to reduce the deficit should include spending cuts and new taxes, a position opposed by GOP leadership.

Although 57 percent disapprove of the way Obama is handling the economy, 67 percent disapprove of the way congressional Republicans are handling the economy, the poll found.

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