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     Budget, Taxes, Economic Policy  (p. 5)


 
 

Kaiser Family Foundation Health Tracking Poll. Sept. 7-12, 2011. N=1,207 adults nationwide. Margin of error 3.

             

"As you may know, the legislation to raise the federal debt ceiling that was passed by Congress and signed by the president at the end of July calls for the creation of a bipartisan committee, sometimes referred to as the 'super committee.' The committee is made up of 12 members of Congress -- six Republicans and six Democrats -- and must come up with a plan to cut at least $1.2 trillion from the federal budget deficit over the next 10 years. They must make their recommendations to Congress by November 23. If the committee doesn't reach consensus, or if Congress doesn't approve their recommendations by December 23, a series of automatic spending cuts would kick in. Do you think creating the bipartisan super committee was a good idea or a bad idea?" Options rotated

 
    Good idea Bad idea Unsure/
Refused
   
    % % %    
 

9/7-12/11

50 38 12    
             

"How much do you trust [see below] to make the right recommendations about ways to reduce the federal budget deficit: a great deal, a fair amount, just a little, or not at all?"

 
    A great
deal
A fair
amount
Just
a little
Not
at all
Unsure/
Refused
    % % % % %
 
 

"President Obama"

 

9/7-12/11

23 29 16 31 2
             
 

"Democrats in Congress"

 

9/7-12/11

13 30 24 31 2
             
 

"Republicans in Congress"

 

9/7-12/11

8 23 32 36 2
             
 

"The bipartisan super committee"

 

9/7-12/11

5 28 34 28 5
             

"How confident are you that the super committee will be able to come up with a proposal to cut $1.2 trillion from the federal deficit before the November deadline: very confident, somewhat confident, not too confident, or not at all confident?"

 
    Very
confident
Somewhat
confident
Not too
confident
Not at all
confident
Unsure/
Refused
    % % % % %
 

9/7-12/11

4 32 36 26 2
             

"How likely do you think it is that the super committee will be able to come up with a proposal that will get enough support from both parties in Congress in order to pass: very likely, somewhat likely, not too likely, or not at all likely?"

 
    Very
likely
Somewhat
likely
Not too
likely
Not at all
likely
Unsure/
Refused
    % % % % %
 

9/7-12/11

6 36 33 23 2
             

"Thinking about different approaches the super committee might recommend to reduce the federal budget deficit, I'd like to know how big a role you think each of the following should play in an overall deficit reduction strategy. First/Next, should [see below] play a major role, minor role, or no role at all in reducing the federal budget deficit?"

 
    Major role Minor role No role
at all
Unsure/
Refused
 
    % % % %  
 
 

"Closing tax loopholes for wealthy Americans" N=618 (Form A)

 

9/7-12/11

60 26 12 2  
             
 

"Closing tax loopholes for large businesses" N=589 (Form B)

 

9/7-12/11

59 27 10 5  
             
 

"Repealing the Bush tax cuts for wealthy Americans" N=618 (Form A)

 

9/7-12/11

52 26 19 3  
             
 

"Increasing taxes for wealthy Americans" N=589 (Form B)

 

9/7-12/11

48 30 19 3  
             
 

"Reducing spending on government programs and services"

 

9/7-12/11

46 35 15 4  
             
 

"Repealing the Bush tax cuts for all Americans" N=589 (Form B)

 

9/7-12/11

35 32 25 8  
             
 

"Increasing taxes for all Americans" N=618 (Form A)

 

9/7-12/11

28 36 33 3  
             

"If the super committee recommends reducing the deficit by reducing federal spending, I'd like to know in which areas you would be willing to see spending reduced. For each area I name, please tell me if you would support major spending reductions, minor spending reductions or no reductions at all as a way to reduce the federal deficit. First, to reduce the deficit would you support major reductions, minor reductions, or no reductions to spending on [see below]?"

 
    Major
reductions
Minor
reductions
No
reductions
Unsure/
Refused
 
    % % % %  
 

"Defense"

 

9/7-12/11

28 39 28 4  
             
 

"Medicaid"

 

9/7-12/11

16 36 46 2  
             
 

"Medicare"

 

9/7-12/11

13 35 51 1  
             
 

"Social Security"

 

9/7-12/11

12 27 58 3  

 

Pew Research Center/Washington Post. Sept. 1-4, 2011. N=1,001 adults nationwide. Margin of error 4.

             

"Thinking specifically about the job situation in the country, please tell me how much each of the following would do to help improve it. First, do you think [see below] would help improve the job situation a lot, a little, or would it not help at all?"

 
    A lot A little Not at all Unsure  
    % % % %  
 
 

"Additional spending on roads, bridges, and other public works projects"

 

9/1-4/11

36 41 21 2  
 

6/17-20/10

37 43 18 2  
             
 

"Cutting taxes on businesses"

 

9/1-4/11

31 39 27 4  
 

6/17-20/10

36 39 21 5  
             
 

"Budget cuts to reduce the federal deficit"

 

9/1-4/11

31 34 28 7  
 

6/17-20/10

34 39 21 7  
             
 

"Cutting personal income taxes"

 

9/1-4/11

24 36 35 5  
 

6/17-20/10

31 36 29 4  

 

George Washington University/Politico Battleground Poll conducted by the Tarrance Group (R) and Lake Research Partners (D). Aug. 28-Sept. 1, 2011. N=1,000 likely voters nationwide. Margin of error 3.1.

             

"Now, thinking about the economy: As you may have heard, President Obama is planning to propose measures aimed at creating jobs. One of these proposals may be a large scale federally subsidized nationwide construction program putting Americans back to work building roads, bridges, schools, and hospitals. With this in mind, would you favor or oppose this proposal, or are you undecided?"

 
    Favor Oppose Undecided    
    % % %    
 

8/28 - 9/1/11

51 21 28    

 

NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll conducted by the polling organizations of Peter Hart (D) and Bill McInturff (R). Aug. 27-31, 2011. N=1,000 adults nationwide. Margin of error 3.1.

             

"President Obama is expected to outline a jobs plan in the coming weeks. I'm going to read some different proposals that could be considered by the president. For each one please tell me if you think this proposal is a good idea, a bad idea, or do you not know enough about it to have an opinion? . . ."

 
    Good idea Bad idea Do not know
enough
Unsure  
    % % % %  
 
 

"Paying for long-term unemployed workers to train at private companies for eight weeks, and then giving the companies an option to hire them" Half sample (Form B)

 

8/27-31/11

62 17 21 -  
             
 

"Funding a new road construction bill" Half sample (Form A)

 

8/27-31/11

47 26 27 -  
             
 

"Continuing to extend unemployment benefits" Half sample (Form B)

 

8/27-31/11

44 39 16 1  
             
 

"Continuing to cut the payroll tax rate" Half sample (Form A)

 

8/27-31/11

40 20 38 2  

 

Fox News Poll conducted by Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R). Aug. 7-9, 2011. N=904 registered voters nationwide. Margin of error 3.

             

"Now I'd like to ask you some questions about the agreement passed by Congress and signed into law by the President to raise the nation's debt limit. Do you approve or disapprove of the agreement between the President and Congress to raise the nation's debt limit?"

 
    Approve Disapprove Unsure    
    % % %    
 

ALL

36 52 12    
 

Democrats

52 36 12    
 

Republicans

19 71 10    
 

Independents

33 53 14    
             

"Almost all members of Congress, whether they voted for the debt deal or not, said they were unhappy with parts of the agreement. If you were in Congress, how would you have voted on the debt agreement: yes or no?" If yes: "Would you have voted yes because you think it was necessary so the government could pay its bills, or because you think it was a good first step toward getting the nation out of debt?" If no: "Would you have voted no because you oppose raising the debt limit and putting the nation further in debt, or because the deal did not include any tax increases?" Combined responses.

 
    Yes:
Necessary
to pay bills
Yes:
To get nation
out of debt
No:
Oppose raising
debt limit
No:
Didn't include
tax increases
Unsure
    % % % % %
 

8/7-9/11

28 12 34 11 15
             

"Do you think the debt limit agreement will make the economy better, worse or will it not have much of a difference either way?"

 
    Better Worse No
difference
Unsure  
    % % % %  
 

8/7-9/11

12 34 46 8  
             

"Which do you think best describes the outcome of the debt limit negotiations? It's a good agreement that is truly in the best interest of Americans. It's a weak agreement that probably won't do much. It's a terrible agreement that will actually damage the country."

 
    Good Weak Terrible Unsure  
    % % % %  
 

8/7-9/11

14 50 28 8  
             

"Do you expect the federal government to continue to spend more than it takes in despite the new debt limit agreement?"

 
    Yes No Unsure    
    % % %    
 

8/7-9/11

74 18 7    
             

"In the debt limit negotiations, who do you think truly did the most to put politics aside and worked for the good of the country: congressional Democrats, congressional Republicans, members of the Tea Party movement, or President Obama?" Options rotated

 
      %      
 

President Obama

31      
 

Congressional Republicans

17      
 

Tea Party movement

13      
 

Congressional Democrats

11      
 

None of them (vol.)

13      
 

All of them (vol.)

3      
 

Unsure

11      
             

"Who won the debt limit negotiations, that is, who do you think got more of what they wanted: Democrats or Republicans?" Options rotated

 
    Democrats Republicans Both (vol.) Neither (vol.) Unsure
    % % % % %
 

8/7-9/11

22 39 6 21 12
             

"Who do you think should get more credit for taking the leadership role in the debt negotiations: Congress or the President?"

 
    Congress President Both (vol.) Neither (vol.) Unsure
    % % % % %
 

8/7-9/11

40 38 4 11 7
             

"As a nation, taking into account all Americans, do you think we are over-taxed or under-taxed?"

 
    Over-taxed Under-taxed Right
amount (vol.)
Depends
(vol.)
Unsure
    % % % % %
 

8/7-9/11

61 22 4 8 4

 

Reuters/Ipsos Poll conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs. Aug. 4-8, 2011. N=1,055 adults nationwide. Margin of error 3.

             

"Do you feel more positive or more negative towards each of the following as a result of the deal recently reached in Washington to raise the federal government debt ceiling? How about towards [see below]? Do you feel more positive or negative towards [see below], or has it made no difference?"

 
    More
positive
More
negative
No
difference
Unsure  
    % % % %  
 
 

"President Barack Obama"

 

8/4-8/11

36 42 21 2  
             
 

"Democrats"

 

8/4-8/11

31 40 26 3  
             
 

"House Speaker John Boehner"

 

8/4-8/11

20 37 32 10  
             
 

"The Tea Party"

 

8/4-8/11

23 42 26 9  
             
 

"Republicans"

 

8/4-8/11

24 49 24 3  
             

"Based on everything you've heard or seen, do you think this debt ceiling deal is a good thing or a bad thing for the United States?"

 
    Good thing Bad thing Unsure    
    % % %    
 

ALL

38 53 9    
 

Democrats

47 45 8    
 

Republicans

32 63 5    
 

Independents

26 53 21    
             

"Which of the following actions, if any, do you think the government should undertake to stimulate the national economy? . . ." Multiple responses accepted

 
        %    
 

"Cut government spending"

49    
 

"Raise taxes on wealthy individuals"

46    
 

"Invest in new infrastructure projects"

34    
 

"Cut taxes for everyone"

27    
 

"Extend financial aid to states"

25    
 

"Extend unemployment benefits"

25    
 

"Extend the payroll tax cut"

20    
 

Unsure

4    

 

CNN/ORC Poll. Aug. 5-7, 2011. N=1,008 adults nationwide. Margin of error 3.

             

"As you may know, Congress passed and President Obama signed into law a bill that raises the federal government's debt ceiling through the year 2013 and makes major cuts in government spending over the next few years. Based on what you have read or heard, do you approve or disapprove of that bill?"

 
    Approve Disapprove Unsure    
    % % %    
 

ALL

48 50 2    
 

Democrats

69 29 2    
 

Independents

39 58 2    
 

Republicans

36 62 3    
 

Tea Party - support

24 74 2    
 

Tea Party - neutral

55 43 3    
 

Tea Party - oppose

59 39 2    
             

"Do you think the cuts in government spending included in that bill go too far, do not go far enough, or are about right?"

 
    Too far Not far
enough
About right Unsure  
    % % % %  
 

8/5-7/11

21 48 27 5  
             

"Do you think that bill treats all Americans fairly, or do you think it benefits the rich at the expense of the poor and middle class?"

 
    Treats all
fairly
Benefits
the rich
Unsure    
    % % %    
 

ALL

27 62 11    
 

Democrats

21 75 4    
 

Independents

23 62 14    
 

Republicans

46 40 14    

 

USA Today/Gallup Poll. Aug. 4-7, 2011. N=1,319 adults nationwide. Margin of error 4.

             

"Please tell me whether you favor or oppose each of the following as a way to reduce the federal debt. How about . . . ?"

 
    Favor Oppose Unsure    
    % % %    
 
 

"Increasing income tax rates for upper-income Americans"

 

8/4-7/11

66 33 1    
             
 

"Increasing tax revenues by making major changes to the current federal tax code"

 

8/4-7/11

60 33 7    
             
 

"Cutting spending for programs other than defense, Social Security and Medicare"

 

8/4-7/11

59 37 3    
             
 

"Cutting defense spending"

 

8/4-7/11

47 51 2    
             
 

"Making significant changes to the Social Security and Medicare programs to reduce their cost"

 

8/4-7/11

42 56 2    
             

"As you may know, as part of the agreement to raise the debt ceiling, Congress will appoint a special committee to look at ways to further reduce federal spending and the national debt. If that committee does not reach an agreement, the law would impose major cuts in most federal spending, including Medicare and defense. What would you like the members of this committee who represent your views on spending and the debt to do? Should they hold out for a plan you would agree with, even if it prevents the committee from reaching an agreement, OR should they agree to a compromise plan, even if it is a plan you would disagree with?" Options rotated

 
    Hold out Compromise Unsure    
    % % %    
 

8/4-7/11

35 60 5    

 

CBS News/New York Times Poll. Aug. 2-3, 2011. N=960 adults nationwide who were first interviewed in two polls: a CBS News/New York Times Poll conducted June 24-28, 2011, and a CBS News Poll conducted July 15-17, 2011. Margin of error 3.

             

"Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama has handled the negotiations on the debt ceiling?"

 
    Approve Disapprove Unsure    
    % % %    
 

8/2-3/11

46 47 7    
             

"Do you approve or disapprove of the way Republicans in Congress have handled the negotiations on the debt ceiling?"

 
    Approve Disapprove Unsure    
    % % %    
 

8/2-3/11

21 72 7    
             

"Do you approve or disapprove of the way Democrats in Congress have handled the negotiations on the debt ceiling?"

 
    Approve Disapprove Unsure    
    % % %    
 

8/2-3/11

28 66 6    
             

"Who do you trust more to make the right decisions about the nation's economy: the Republicans in Congress or Barack Obama?"

 
    Republicans
in Congress
Barack
Obama
Both (vol.) Neither
(vol.)
Unsure
    % % % % %
 

8/2-3/11

33 47 3 14 3
             

"Who do you think is mostly to blame for most of the current federal budget deficit: the Bush administration, the Obama administration, Congress, or someone else?"

 
    Bush
admin.
Obama
admin.
Congress Someone
else
All/Combo.
(vol.)/Unsure
    % % % % %
 

8/2-3/11

44 15 15 10 16
             

"Which of these should be the higher priority for the nation right now: cutting government spending or creating jobs?"

 
    Cutting
spending
Creating
jobs
Both (vol.) Unsure  
    % % % %  
 

ALL

29 62 8 1  
 

Republicans

48 42 9 1  
 

Democrats

19 74 6 1  
 

Independents

26 65 9 0  
             

"Do you feel mostly relieved that an agreement on the debt ceiling has been reached, or mostly frustrated about the outcome of the negotiations?"

 
    Relieved Frustrated Both (vol.) Unsure  
    % % % %  
 

8/2-3/11

44 45 4 7  
             

"The debt ceiling agreement calls for more than $2 trillion in spending cuts over 10 years, a new Congressional committee to recommend a deficit-reduction proposal by late November, and a two-stage increase in the debt ceiling. From what you've heard or read, do you approve or disapprove of the debt ceiling agreement?" If approve: "Do you strongly approve or somewhat approve?" If disapprove: "Do you somewhat disapprove or strongly disapprove?"

 
    Strongly
approve
Somewhat
approve
Somewhat
disapprove
Strongly
disapprove
Unsure
    % % % % %
 

8/2-3/11

4 42 26 19 9
             

"From what you know so far, do you think the debt ceiling agreement should have included some increase in tax revenue or should it have relied entirely on cuts in government spending?"

 
    Some
increase in
tax revenue
Entirely
cuts in
spending
Unsure    
    % % %    
 

8/2-3/11

50 44 6    
             

"Do you think the spending cuts included in the debt ceiling agreement went too far, didn't go far enough, or are they about right?"

 
    Too far Not far
enough
About right Unsure  
    % % % %  
 

8/2-3/11

15 44 29 12  
             

"In general, do you think the debt ceiling agreement will make the economy better, make the economy worse or have no impact on the economy?"

 
    Better Worse No impact Unsure  
    % % % %  
 

8/2-3/11

22 24 46 8  
             

"Do you think the recent disagreements in Washington about raising the debt ceiling were mostly about doing what was best for the country or mostly about gaining political advantage?"

 
    Best for
the country
Political
advantage
Some of
each (vol.)
Unsure  
    % % % %  
 

8/2-3/11

14 82 2 2  
             

"As a result of the debt ceiling negotiations in Washington, do you think the image of United States in the world has gotten better, gotten worse, or have the debt ceiling negotiations had no effect on the United States' image in the world?"

 
    Better Worse No effect Unsure  
    % % % %  
 

8/2-3/11

5 71 22 2  
             

"During the recent debt ceiling negotiations in Washington, do you think Barack Obama has shown strong qualities of leadership, or not?"

 
    Has Has not Unsure    
    % % %    
 

8/2-3/11

49 48 3    
             

"Who do you blame more for the difficulties in reaching an agreement on the debt ceiling: the Republicans in Congress, or Barack Obama and the Democrats in Congress?"

 
    Republicans Obama/
Democrats
Both (vol.) Unsure  
    % % % %  
 

8/2-3/11

47 29 20 4  
             

"In order to lower the nation's budget deficit, do you think taxes should be increased on households earning $250,000 a year or more, or should the government address the budget deficit without increasing taxes on those households?"

 
    Should
increase
Should not
increase
Unsure    
    % % %    
 

8/2-3/11

63 34 3    

 

USA Today/Gallup Poll. Aug. 2, 2011. N=1,012 adults nationwide. Margin of error 4.

             

"I'd like to ask you about the agreement reached by the President and Congress to raise the federal debt ceiling. Based on what you know or have read about this agreement, do you approve or disapprove of it?"

 
    Approve Disapprove Unsure    
    % % %    
 

8/2/11

39 46 15    
             

"Next, please tell me whether you approve or disapprove of the way each of the following handled the negotiations to raise the federal debt ceiling. How about . . . ?"

 
    Approve Disapprove Unsure    
    % % %    
 

"President Barack Obama"

 

8/2/11

41 49 10    
             
 

"Members of Congress aligned with the Tea Party movement"

 

8/2/11

33 49 19    
             
 

"Speaker of the House John Boehner"

 

8/2/11

29 48 23    
             
 

"Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid"

 

8/2/11

27 47 26    
             

"Based on what you know or have read about the agreement, do you view it as a step forward, a step backward, or neither in terms of addressing the federal debt situation?"

 
    Step
forward
Step
backward
Neither Unsure  
    % % % %  
 

8/2/11

20 22 50 8  
             

"What effect do you think the agreement will have on the U.S. economy? Will it make the economy better, not have much effect, or will it make the economy worse?" Options rotated

 
    Better Not much
effect
Worse Unsure  
    % % % %  
 

8/2/11

17 33 41 9  

 

CNN/ORC Poll. Aug. 1, 2011. N=860 adults nationwide. Margin of error 3.5.

             

"As you may know, an agreement between Barack Obama and the Republicans and Democrats in Congress would raise the federal government's debt ceiling through the year 2013 and make major cuts in government spending over the next few years. Based on what you have read or heard, do you approve or disapprove of that agreement?"

 
    Approve Disapprove Unsure    
    % % %    
 

ALL

44 52 5    
 

Democrats

63 32 6    
 

Independents

35 62 3    
 

Republicans

35 58 7    
 

Tea P. - support

27 68 5    
 

Tea P. - neutral

42 54 4    
 

Tea P. - oppose

57 37 6    
             

"As you may know, the agreement would raise the debt ceiling through the year 2013. Regardless of how you feel about the overall agreement, do you approve or disapprove of raising the debt ceiling at this time?"

 
    Approve Disapprove Unsure    
    % % %    
 

8/1/11

48 51 2    
             

"As you may know, the agreement would cut about one trillion dollars in government spending over the next ten years with provisions to make additional spending cuts in the future. Regardless of how you feel about the overall agreement, do you approve or disapprove of the cuts in government spending included in the debt ceiling agreement?"

 
    Approve Disapprove Unsure    
    % % %    
 

8/1/11

65 30 4    
             

"As you may know, the agreement would cut about one trillion dollars in government spending over the next ten years with provisions to make additional spending cuts in the future. Regardless of how you feel about the overall agreement, do you approve or disapprove of the cuts in government spending included in the debt ceiling agreement?" If disapprove: "Do you disapprove because you think those cuts in government spending go too far, or do you disapprove because you think those spending cuts don't go far enough?" Combined responses

 
    Approve Disapprove:
Cuts go
too far
Disapprove:
Cuts don't go
far enough
Disapprove:
Mixed/Both
(vol.)
Unsure
    % % % % %
 

8/1/11

65 15 13 1 5
             

"And as you may know, the agreement does not include any tax increases for business or higher-income Americans. Regardless of how you feel about the overall agreement, do you approve or disapprove of the fact that the debt ceiling agreement does not include tax increases for those groups?"

 
    Approve Disapprove Unsure    
    % % %    
 

8/1/11

40 60 1    
             

"Overall, do you think the debt ceiling agreement would be good for the U.S. economy or bad for the U.S. economy?"

 
    Good Bad Mixed (vol.) Unsure  
    % % % %  
 

8/1/11

49 42 6 3  
             

"Do you think that a failure to raise the debt ceiling by Tuesday would create a crisis for the United States, major problems, minor problems, or no problems at all?"

 
    Crisis Major
problems
Minor
problems
No problems
at all
Unsure
    % % % % %
 

8/1/11

14 38 31 15 2
             

"Who do you think is more responsible for the debt ceiling agreement? Do you think Barack Obama and the Democrats in Congress are more responsible for that agreement, or do you think the Republicans in Congress are more responsible for that agreement?"

 
    Obama/
Democrats
Republicans Both
equally (vol.)
Neither (vol.) Unsure
    % % % % %
 

8/1/11

34 43 18 2 4
             

"Next, please tell me whether you approve or disapprove of the way each of the following has handled the negotiations over the debt ceiling in Washington over the past few days. . . ."

 
    Approve Disapprove Unsure    
    % % %    
 
 

"Barack Obama"

 

8/1/11

46 53 2    
             
 

"The Democratic leaders in Congress"

 

8/1/11

35 63 2    
             
 

"The Republican leaders in Congress"

 

8/1/11

30 68 2    
             

"As you know, both the Republicans and the Democrats compromised with the other party by giving up some proposals on issues which were important to them. In your view, did the Republicans in Congress give up too much in the debt ceiling agreement, or don't you think so?"

 
    Gave up
too much
Did not give
up too much
Should have
given up
more (vol.)
Unsure  
    % % % %  
 

8/1/11

21 70 2 7  
             

"In your view, did Barack Obama and the Democrats in Congress give up too much in the debt ceiling agreement, or don't you think so?"

 
    Gave up
too much
Did not give
up too much
Should have
given up
more (vol.)
Unsure  
    % % % %  
 

8/1/11

31 61 2 7  
             

"In general, do you think the elected officials in Washington who have dealt with the debt ceiling in the past few days have behaved mostly like responsible adults or mostly like spoiled children?"

 
    Responsible
adults
Spoiled
children
Mixed/
Both (vol.)
Unsure  
    % % % %  
 

8/1/11

17 77 4 2  

 

United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International. July 28-31, 2011. N=1,001 adults nationwide. Margin of error 3.6.

             

"In the debate over whether to raise the federal debt ceiling, who do you believe has behaved more responsibly: President Obama or Republicans in Congress?" Options rotated

 
    President
Obama
Republicans
in Congress
Both (vol.) Neither
(vol.)
Unsure/
Refused
    % % % % %
 

7/28-31/11

48 31 1 9 11
             

"Thinking about the elections for Congress NEXT year, please tell me whether you would be more likely or less likely to vote for a candidate with each of the following characteristics, or whether it would make no difference in your vote either way. . . ."

 
    More likely
to vote for
Less likely
to vote for
No
difference
Unsure/
Refused
 
    % % % %  
 
 

"If a candidate voted to allow the government to borrow more money by increasing the federal debt ceiling"

 

7/28-31/11

18 45 33 4  
             
 

"If a candidate voted to allow the government to default on its financial obligations by NOT raising the debt ceiling"

 

7/28-31/11

16 45 30 8  

 

Pew Research Center/Washington Post. July 28-31, 2011. N=1,001 adults nationwide. Margin of error 4.

             

"As a result of the budget negotiations in Washington over the last several weeks, have you come to have a MORE favorable opinion of [see below], a LESS favorable opinion of [see below], or hasn't your opinion of him / them changed?"

 
    More
favorable
Less
favorable
Hasn't
changed
Unsure/
Refused
 
    % % % %  
 
 

"President Barack Obama"

 

7/28-31/11

18 37 44 2  
 
 

"Speaker of the House John Boehner"

 

7/28-31/11

11 34 45 9  
 
 

"Democrats in Congress"

 

7/28-31/11

13 30 53 5  
 
 

"Republicans in Congress"

 

7/28-31/11

11 42 44 4  
 
 

"Members of Congress affiliated with the Tea Party movement"

 

7/28-31/11

11 37 45 6  

 

USA Today/Gallup Poll. July 27, 2011. N=1,007 adults nationwide. Margin of error 4.

             

"Please tell me whether you approve or disapprove of the way each of the following is handling the negotiations to raise the federal debt ceiling. How about . . . ?"

 
    Approve Disapprove Unsure    
    % % %    
 
 

"President Barack Obama"

 

7/27/11

41 52 8    
 
 

"Speaker of the House John Boehner"

 

7/27/11

31 48 21    
 
 

"Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid"

 

7/27/11

23 52 25    

 

Reuters/Ipsos Poll conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs. July 25, 2011. N=600 adults nationwide. Margin of error 4.

             

"So far, the U.S. Congress has been unable to reach an agreement on raising the limit on America's debt. If any agreement is not reached by August 2nd, the government will run out of the cash it needs to pay the federal government's bills on time. How concerned, if at all, are you about this issue: very concerned, somewhat concerned, not very concerned, or not at all concerned?"

 
    Very
concerned
Somewhat
concerned
Not very
concerned
Not at all
concerned
Unsure/
Refused
    % % % % %
 

7/25/11

54 29 8 6 2
             

"Who do you blame most for the failure so far of the debt talks in Washington: Republican lawmakers, Democrat lawmakers, or President Obama?"

 
      %      
 

Republican lawmakers

31      
 

President Obama

21      
 

Democrat lawmakers

9      
 

All three (vol.)

24      
 

None (vol.)

8      
 

Unsure/Refused

6      
             

"And who do you think should give the most ground in order to reach a deal: Republican lawmakers, Democrat lawmakers, or President Obama?"

 
      %      
 

Republican lawmakers

29      
 

President Obama

25      
 

Democrat lawmakers

20      
 

All three (vol.)

13      
 

None (vol.)

2      
 

Unsure/Refused

11      
             

"As you probably know, the U.S. budget deficit is currently about 1.4 trillion dollars. There are a number of different solutions being discussed for reducing this deficit. These are cutting existing programs, raising taxes, or some combination of the two. Which approach do you think is best?"

 
    Cut existing
programs
Raise taxes Combination Neither (vol.) Unsure/
Refused
    % % % % %
 

7/25/11

19 12 56 8 6
 

6/3-6/11

26 13 46 12 3
 

5/5-9/11

27 9 52 10 2

 

United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International. July 21-24, 2011. N=999 adults nationwide. Margin of error 3.8.

             

"All things considered, which of these is your greater concern -- that raising the debt limit would lead to higher government spending and make the national debt bigger, or that not raising the debt limit would force the government into default and hurt the nation's economy?" Options rotated

 
    Raising/
Higher
spending
Not raising/
Default
Unsure/
Refused
   
    % % %    
 

7/21-24/11

45 43 13    
             

"Who do you trust more to make the right decisions about whether to raise the federal debt limit: Barack Obama or Republican leaders in Congress?"

 
    Barack
Obama
Republican
leaders
Don't trust
either (vol.)
Unsure/
Refused
 
    % % % %  
 

7/21-24/11

46 35 13 6  
             

"Who do you trust more to make the right decisions about how to reduce the federal budget deficit: Barack Obama or Republican leaders in Congress?"

 
    Barack
Obama
Republican
leaders
Don't trust
either (vol.)
Unsure/
Refused
 
    % % % %  
 

7/21-24/11

46 34 14 6  
             

"In the debate over proposals to increase the federal debt ceiling, which of the following possible outcomes concern you most? A default on the federal debt that could raise interest rates for things like mortgages and consumer loans. An agreement that raises taxes on people like you. An agreement that authorizes too much federal spending in the next few years. An agreement that cuts too much from government programs like Medicare and Social Security." Options rotated

 
    Default Higher taxes Too much
spending
Medicare,
Social Security
cuts
Unsure/
Refused
    % % % % %
 

7/21-24/11

17 17 19 39 8
             

"What do you think is the most pressing economic problem facing the United States? The risk that the government will default on its debts. The increasing cost of necessities like gasoline and food. Unemployment. Slow growth in wages for workers. The size of the federal budget deficit." Options rotated

 
      %      
 

Unemployment

34      
 

Increasing cost of necessities

25      
 

Size of the budget deficit

15      
 

Risk of government default

10      
 

Slow growth in wages

8      
 

Other (vol.)

4      
 

No problems (vol.)

1      
 

Unsure/Refused

3      
             

"If Congress and the President cannot approve an agreement to raise the debt ceiling and the federal government defaults on its debts, who do you think would be the most to blame for that: President Obama, Republicans in Congress, or Democrats in Congress?" Options rotated

 
    President
Obama
Republicans
in Congress
Democrats
in Congress
All
equally (vol.)
Unsure/
Refused
    % % % % %
 

7/21-24/11

23 31 13 25 8

 

Pew Research Center. July 20-24, 2011. N=1,501 adults nationwide. Margin of error 3.5.

             

"If the government makes major cuts in federal spending in an effort to reduce the budget deficit, do you think these cuts would help the job situation, hurt the job situation, or not have much of an effect either way?"

 
    Help Hurt Not much of
an effect
Mixed effect
(vol.)
Unsure/
Refused
    % % % % %
 

7/20-24/11

26 27 39 1 7

 

CNN/ORC Poll. July 18-20, 2011. N=1,009 adults nationwide. Margin of error 3.

             

"Do you think the Democrats or the Republicans are more responsible for the country's current economic problems?" N=507 (Version A), margin of error 4.5

 
    Democrats Republicans Both
equally (vol.)
Neither (vol.)  
    % % % %  
 

7/18-20/11

38 35 22 5  
             

"As you may know, there is a limit to the amount of money the government can owe that is sometimes called the 'debt ceiling.' The Secretary of the Treasury says that the government will not have enough money to pay all of its debts and keep all existing government programs running unless Congress raises the debt ceiling by August 2nd. How closely have you been following the discussions between Barack Obama and the Republican and Democratic leaders of Congress on the debt ceiling: very closely, somewhat closely, not too closely, or not closely at all?"

 
    Very
closely
Somewhat
closely
Not too
closely
Not closely
at all
 
    % % % %  
 

7/18-20/11

23 47 19 11  
             

"In those discussions, several budget plans have been proposed that would reduce the amount the government owes by trillions of dollars over the next ten years. If you had to choose, would you rather see Congress and President Obama agree to a budget plan that only includes cuts in government spending, or a budget plan that includes a combination of spending cuts and tax increases on higher-income Americans and some businesses?"

 
    Spending
cuts only
Spending cuts
and tax
increases
Other (vol.) Unsure  
    % % % %  
 

ALL

34 64 1 1  
 

Democrats

14 83 1 1  
 

Independents

35 65 - -  
 

Republicans

61 37 1 1  
             

"And in general, which of the following statements comes closest to your view? You FAVOR raising the debt ceiling even if Congress and President Obama do not agree on a plan to reduce the amount the government owes. You FAVOR raising the debt ceiling only if Congress takes action to reduce by trillions of dollars the amount the government owes. You OPPOSE raising the debt ceiling even if Congress takes action to reduce the amount the government owes."

 
    Favor even
without
agreement to
reduce debt
Favor only
if takes
action to
reduce debt
Oppose even
if takes
action to
reduce debt
Unsure  
    % % % %  
 

7/18-20/11

17 45 36 3  
             

"And if the debt ceiling is not raised, do you think that would affect your personal financial situation a great deal, some, not much or not at all?"

 
    A great deal Some Not much Not at all Unsure
    % % % % %
 

7/18-20/11

27 37 19 15 2
 

4/29 - 5/1/11

25 38 19 16 2
             

"Based on what you have read or heard about the discussions between Congress and Barack Obama on the debt ceiling, do you think Obama has or has not acted responsibly?"

 
    Has Has not Unsure    
    % % %    
 

7/18-20/11

52 46 2    
 

4/29 - 5/1/11

46 49 6    
             

"Based on what you have read or heard about the discussions between Congress and Barack Obama on the debt ceiling, do you think the Republicans in Congress have or have not acted responsibly?"

 
    Have Have not Unsure    
    % % %    
 

7/18-20/11

33 63 3    
 

4/29 - 5/1/11

34 60 6    
             

"In some proposals, Congress would raise the debt ceiling while cutting between two trillion and four trillion dollars in government spending over the next ten years and raising taxes on some businesses and higher-income Americans. Would you favor or oppose this proposal?"

 
    Favor Oppose Unsure    
    % % %    
 

7/18-20/11

66 34 1    
             

"In another proposal, Congress would give President Obama the ability to raise the debt ceiling several times in the next 18 months while cutting a smaller amount in government spending and not raising taxes at all. Would you favor or oppose this proposal?"

 
    Favor Oppose Unsure    
    % % %    
 

7/18-20/11

34 65 1    
             

"In another proposal, Congress would raise the debt ceiling only if a balanced budget amendment were passed by both houses of Congress and substantial spending cuts and caps on future spending were approved. Would you favor or oppose this proposal?"

 
    Favor Oppose Unsure    
    % % %    
 

7/18-20/11

66 33 1    
             

"Now I'm going to read you some of the specific proposals for cutting government spending and increasing taxes that have been suggested as part of the discussions on the debt ceiling. For each one, please tell me whether you favor or oppose that proposal as a way to reduce the amount that the government owes. . . ."

 
    Favor Oppose Unsure    
    % % %    
 
 

"Increasing the taxes paid by businesses that own private jets"

 

7/18-20/11

76 23 -    
             
 

"Increasing the taxes paid by people who make more than 250 thousand dollars a year"

 

7/18-20/11

73 26 -    
             
 

"Increasing the taxes paid by oil and gas companies by ending federal subsidies for those businesses"

 

7/18-20/11

73 26 1    
             
 

"Cutting defense spending"

 

7/18-20/11

47 52 1    
             
 

"Cutting federal subsidies to farmers"

 

7/18-20/11

31 66 2    
             
 

"Cutting pensions and benefits for retired government workers"

 

7/18-20/11

30 68 2    
             
 

"Cutting the amount the government spends on Medicaid, the federal health program for the poor"

 

7/18-20/11

22 77 -    
             
 

"Cutting the amount the government spends on Social Security"

 

7/18-20/11

16 84 1    
             
 

"Cutting the amount the government spends on Medicare, the federal health program for the elderly"

 

7/18-20/11

12 87 1    
 

"Would you favor or oppose a constitutional amendment to require a balanced federal budget?"

 
    Favor Oppose Unsure    
    % % %    
 

7/18-20/11

74 24 1    
             

"In order to get the federal budget deficit under control, do you think it is necessary or not necessary to pass a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced federal budget?"

 
    Necessary Not
necessary
Unsure    
    % % %    
 

7/18-20/11

60 38 1    

 

CBS News Poll. July 15-17, 2011. N=810 adults nationwide. Margin of error 4.

             

"Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling the current negotiations on the debt ceiling?"

 
    Approve Disapprove Unsure    
    % % %    
 

7/15-17/11

43 48 9    
             

"Do you approve or disapprove of the way Democrats in Congress are handling the current negotiations on the debt ceiling?"

 
    Approve Disapprove Unsure    
    % % %    
 

7/15-17/11

31 58 11    
             

"Do you approve or disapprove of the way Republicans in Congress are handling the current negotiations on the debt ceiling?"

 
    Approve Disapprove Unsure    
    % % %    
 

7/15-17/11

21 71 8    
             

"How closely have you been following news about the debt ceiling debate in Washington? Would you say you have followed it very closely, somewhat closely, or not too closely?"

 
    Very
closely
Somewhat
closely
Not too
closely
   
    % % %    
 

7/15-17/11

29 52 19    
             

"Do you think Barack Obama is really trying to find a solution to the standoff about the debt ceiling with the Republicans in Congress, or not?"

 
    Is Is not Unsure    
    % % %    
 

7/15-17/11

60 34 6    
             

"Do you think the Republicans in Congress are really trying to find a solution to the standoff about the debt ceiling with Barack Obama, or not?"

 
    Are Are not Unsure    
    % % %    
 

7/15-17/11

32 62 6    
             

"Think about the debate over the debt ceiling that has been going on in Washington. In the current debate, who do you think is more concerned about doing what is best for you and your family: the Republicans in Congress or Barack Obama?"

 
    Republicans
in Congress
Barack
Obama
Both (vol.) Neither (vol.) Unsure
    % % % % %
 

7/15-17/11

32 51 1 10 6
             

"Who do you blame more for the current budget standoff: the Republicans in Congress or Barack Obama?"

 
    Republicans
in Congress
Barack
Obama
Both
equally (vol.)
Unsure  
    % % % %  
 

7/15-17/11

49 29 13 9  
             

"Congress will soon decide whether or not to raise the federal debt ceiling, which is the legal limit on how much the federal government can borrow to pay for the budget deficit. Some people say the debt ceiling should be raised, because otherwise the country could default on its loans, causing severe problems for the U.S. economy. Other people say the debt ceiling should not be raised because the country owes too much money already, and raising it will cause long term economic problems. In general, do you think Congress should or should not raise the federal debt ceiling?"

 
    Should Should not Unsure    
    % % %    
 

7/15-17/11

46 49 5    
 

6/3-7/11

24 69 7    
             

"Do you think an agreement on the budget and the debt ceiling should include only tax increases, OR only spending cuts, OR a combination of both tax increases and spending cuts?"

 
    Only tax
increases
Only
spending cuts
Combination Don't raise
debt ceiling
(vol.)
Unsure
    % % % % %
 

7/15-17/11

3 28 66 1 2
             

"If a deal is not reached on raising the debt ceiling, some people say the U.S. would be forced into default on its current debts -- that is, it would be unable to repay money that it has already borrowed. Other people say the U.S. would still be able to meet its debt payments and a default would not happen. From what you have seen or heard, do you think the U.S. probably would or probably would not default on its debts if a deal is not reached to increase the debt ceiling?"

 
    Probably
would
default
Probably
would not
default
Unsure    
    % % %    
 

7/15-17/11

38 51 11    
             

"If you had to choose, which would be more acceptable to you: an agreement on the deficit and debt ceiling that you did NOT fully support, OR, not reaching an agreement and having the U.S. go into default on its debts?"

 
    Agreement
did not fully
support
U.S.
defaulting
on its debts
Unsure    
    % % %    
 

7/15-17/11

76 14 10    
             

"When the Obama administration talks about what could happen if the debt ceiling is not raised, do you think it is making things sound better than it really would be, making things sound worse than they really would be, or is it describing the situation accurately?"

 
    Sound better Sound worse Describing
accurately
Unsure  
    % % % %  
 

7/15-17/11

14 36 40 10  
             

"If the federal debt ceiling is not raised, how likely do you think it will be that the economy and the stock market take a severe downturn: very likely, somewhat likely, or not very likely?"

 
    Very likely Somewhat
likely
Not very
likely
Unsure  
    % % % %  
 

7/15-17/11

45 37 13 5  
 

6/3-7/11

25 47 18 10  
             

"If the federal debt ceiling is not raised, how likely do you think it will be that payments made to veterans and Social Security and Medicare beneficiaries will be stopped: very likely, somewhat likely, or not very likely?"

 
    Very likely Somewhat
likely
Not very
likely
Unsure  
    % % % %  
 

7/15-17/11

27 27 44 2  
 

6/3-7/11

19 36 38 7  
             

"Do you think Barack Obama and the Republicans in Congress probably will or probably will not reach an agreement on raising the debt ceiling before the August 2 deadline?"

 
    Probably
will
Probably
will not
Unsure    
    % % %    
 

7/15-17/11

66 31 3    

 

Pew Research Center. July 15-17, 2011. N=764 adults nationwide. Margin of error 4.5.

             

"From what you've read and heard, do you think it is absolutely essential that the federal debt limit be raised by August 2nd to avoid an economic crisis, or do you think the country can go past the August 2nd date for when the government reaches its debt limit without major economic problems?" Options rotated

 
    Essential to
raise limit to
avoid a crisis
Can go past
Aug. 2 without
major problems
Unsure    
    % % %    
 

ALL

40 39 21    
 

Republicans

30 53 17    
 

Democrats

56 28 17    
 

Independents

32 43 25    

 

USA Today/Gallup Poll. July 15-17, 2011. N=1,016 adults nationwide. Margin of error 4.

             

"Just your best guess, do you think an agreement to raise the debt limit will or will not be reached by the August 2 deadline?"

 
    Will be Will not be Unsure    
    % % %    
 

7/15-17/11

49 47 4    
             

"If an agreement is not reached by the August 2 deadline, do you think an economic crisis will or will not result?"

 
    Will Will not Unsure    
    % % %    
 

7/15-17/11

56 40 4    
             

"If an agreement is not reached by the August 2 deadline, do you think the government will or will not have to delay sending out Social Security and veterans' benefit payments?"

 
    Will Will not Unsure    
    % % %    
 

7/15-17/11

45 49 6    
             

"What would you like the people in government who represent your views on the debt and budget deficit to do in this situation? Should they hold out for the basic plan they want, even if the debt ceiling is not raised by the deadline, or should they agree to a compromise plan, even if it is a plan you disagree with?" Options rotated

 
    Hold out Compromise Unsure    
    % % %    
 

7/15-17/11

27 66 6    
             

"Which concerns you more: the government would not raise the debt ceiling and a major economic crisis would result, or the government would raise the debt ceiling but without plans for major cuts in future spending?" Options rotated

 
    Would not
raise/Crisis
Would raise/
Without cuts
Unsure    
    % % %    
 

7/15-17/11

35 55 10    
 

7/7-10/11

32 51 17    
             

"Based on what you know or have read about their approach to the debt ceiling negotiations, do you think each of the following is putting their own political interests first, or putting the country's best interests first? How about . . . ?"

 
    Political
interests first
Country's best
interests first
Unsure    
    % % %    
 
 

"The Republicans in Congress"

 

7/15-17/11

72 24 4    
 
 

"The Democrats in Congress"

 

7/15-17/11

65 31 4    
 
 

"President Obama"

 

7/15-17/11

49 47 3    

Budget, taxes, economic policy continued


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