Countdown to the Fiscal Cliff: Growing Support of President’s Approach, But Concerns Are Still High

Latest online survey fielded 12/3/2012 – 12/5/2012
Sample size = 300, representative of the general population

While kids and shoppers everywhere are counting down the number of days until Christmas, Washington officials and the media are counting down to the fiscal cliff, when a series of tax increases and spending reductions are set to go into effect if no action is taken.

Earlier this week, President Obama took a stance on taxes, saying he wouldn’t sign a deal that doesn’t include tax increases on the wealthiest 2% of Americans—and we saw effects of that in our latest polling.

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President’s Favorability Up…Overall, the portion of people in favor of how the President is handling the issues has steadily climbed over the past several weeks (46% compared to 39% from 3 weeks ago), while support of Republican members of Congress has declined from a peak of 40% of people who were favorable, down to 27% for Republican Senators and 29% for Republican Representatives. Congressional Democrats have higher favorability—both the upper and lower house at 40%.

Most notably, people with income less than $40K have rallied in favor of the President this week jumping 20pts over last week from 32% to 52%, presumably in support of tax hikes for the wealthy. And, it should come as no surprise that their favorability of Republican officials dropped to lows of 22% (Senate) and 20% (House).

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…Along With Americans’ Awareness & Understanding... Awareness among the general population inched up to 78% this week (up 4pts from last week). The Presidents’ tactics seem to be reaching the eyes and ears of the middle class, too. This week, cameras captured his visit to the home of a family in Virginia to hear what they had to say. Our survey shows the level of understanding increased significantly among both lower‐income Americans (<$40K) and those making $40K‐$60K a year.

People’s view of the potential impact to the economy, their personal finances, and household spending remained relatively unchanged this week.

…But Concern Calls For Bi‐Partisan Resolution. Despite increased favorability of Obama and his party’s handling of the issues, people across income and ages call upon both the executive and legislative branches to work together and across party lines in support of what’s in the best interest of ‘we, the people.’

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