Trust in Government Nears Record Low
Public trust in the government, already quite low, has edged even lower in a survey conducted just before the Oct. 16 agreement to end the government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling.
Tea Party’s Image Turns More Negative
The Tea Party is less popular than ever, with even many Republicans now viewing the movement negatively. Meanwhile, Senator Ted Cruz’s popularity has soared among Tea Party Republicans, while John Boehner’s image has suffered.
More Concern About the Debt Limit, But Skepticism Persists
Public concern over breaching the debt limit deadline has risen only slightly from a week ago. Among those who see no dire economic consequences from missing the Thursday deadline, most say there is no need to raise the debt limit at all.
Partisans Dug in on Budget Impasse
44% of Americans say that Republican leaders should agree to a budget deal without cuts or delays to the 2010 health care law, while 42% say it is Obama who should agree to cuts or delays in the law.
Public Anger at Government Rises
Overall, 26% of Americans say they are angry at the federal government, while 51% feel frustrated. Just 17% say they are basically content with the government. Anger is most palpable among conservative Republicans.
Continued Support for Keystone XL Pipeline
Most Americans support building the Keystone XL pipeline and increasing energy production from traditional sources. Yet the public also favors stricter greenhouse gas emission limits for power plants and is more opposed to fracking and nuclear power.
Blame for Both Sides as Possible Government Shutdown Approaches
If the federal government shuts down over a budget disagreement, about as many Americans would blame the Republicans (39%) as would blame the Obama administration (36%), with 17% volunteering that both would be equally to blame.
Republicans Sour on Ben Bernanke
As Ben Bernanke prepares to step down as chairman of the Federal Reserve in January, the public views him somewhat more favorably (38%) than unfavorably (31%), with 32% unable to offer a rating.
Skeptical Public Backs Syrian Diplomacy
By a 69% to 22% margin, the public supports a diplomatic approach to the Syrian crisis, but is skeptical about its effectiveness. Americans also express little trust in either Syria or Russia and remain opposed to airstrikes even if Syria does not cede control of its chemical arms.
Foes of Health Law Divided on Next Steps
While opposition to the Affordable Care Act continues to run deep, critics are divided over whether the effort should be to make the law work as well as possible or to make it fail.