Most voters don’t care much for the way either political party is performing in the federal debt ceiling debate.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 58% of Likely U.S. Voters at least somewhat disapprove of the way President Obama and congressional Democrats are handling the debate over the debt ceiling, with 38% who Strongly Disapprove. But 53% also disapprove of how congressional Republicans are handling the debate, including 32% who Strongly Disapprove.
Just 36% approve of how Obama and Democrats are doing, with 10% who Strongly Approve. Forty percent (40%) approve of the GOP’s performance, including 13% who Strongly Approve. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
While the two sides continue to wrangle over how to avoid defaulting on the government’s massive debt load, most voters nationwide are worried the final deal will raise taxes too much and cut spending too little.
Whatever spending cuts are in the final deal, 49% of all voters don’t think the government will actually cut the spending agreed upon. A commentary by Scott Rasmussen, published in Politico, put it this way: “Based on the history of the past few decades, voters have learned that politicians promising unspecified spending cuts should be treated with all the credibility of a six-year old boy caught with his hand in the cookie jar promising to be good for the rest of his life.”
Seventy-five percent (75%) believe that even if the deal includes tax cuts only on the wealthy, ultimately taxes will be raised on the middle class, too. Most voters (55%) oppose including any tax hikes in the debt deal.
The national telephone survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on July 20-21, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points witha 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.
Conservative voters strongly approve of how the Republicans are doing, while liberals feel just as strongly that Democrats are doing a good job. Most moderates are critical of both parties but express stronger disapproval of the Republicans.
Among investors, 52% disapprove of the congressional GOP’s performance during the debt debate, while 63% are critical of how the president and Democrats in Congress are handling it.
Union members are only slightly more critical of Republicans than of Democrats.
Democratic voters (34%) are slightly unhappier with the president and their own congressional representatives than Republicans (27%) are with GOP members of Congress. Among voters not affiliated with either major party, 58% don’t approve of how Obama and the Democrats are handling the debt debate, while 55% feel the same way about the Republicans’ performance to date.
Most of those in the Political Class approve of the job being done by both political parties, although they’re happier with the Democrats’ performance. Most Mainstream voters disapprove of how the two parties are handling the debt ceiling debate but are much more critical of the Democrats.
As they have every week since June 2009, Republicans continue to lead Democrats on the Generic Congressional Ballot. But now a plurality of voters see the congressional agendas of both parties as extreme.
Voter approval of Congress’ job performance as a whole has now fallen to a near five-year low.