Republicans Are Losing Ground on the Deficit, But Obama’s Not Gaining
Far fewer Americans now say that Republicans in Congress have the better approach to the budget deficit than did so in November with the GOP losing ground among political independents as well as key elements of the its base, including Tea Party supporters. But the public is no more supportive of Barack Obama’s approach to the budget deficit than it was in November.
Tea Party’s Hard Line on Spending Divides GOP
Across a wide range of issues — including entitlements, education, agriculture and energy — Tea Party Republicans take a much harder line on cutting federal spending than do non-Tea Party Republicans, who are far more in sync with Democrats.
Rethinking Budget Cutting
Views about federal spending are beginning to change. Americans no longer call for more spending on many popular programs. Still, support for cutting spending remains limited, though in a few cases it has risen noticeably. The public remains reluctant either to cut spending — or to raise taxes – to balance state budgets.
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Economy, Jobs Top Public’s Policy Agenda
Americans overwhelmingly cite the economy and jobs as the most important issues facing the president and new Congress. On health care reform, roughly as many would like to see legislation expanded as have it repealed.
Strengthen Ties with China, But Get Tough on Trade
As President Obama prepares to host Chinese President Hu Jintao next week, Americans increasingly see Asia as the region of the world that is most important to the United States. While Americans see China as a rising global power, relatively few characterize the U.S.-China relationship as adversarial; China is seen primarily as an economic threat, rather than a military one.
In the depths of the 1981-1982 recession, Americans were far more displeased with their president and his policies than were their predecessors during the Great Depression, more so even than in today’s high-unemployment economy.
Tax Deal Wins Broad Bipartisan Support
The public views the tax agreement between Obama and congressional Republicans as beneficial to both the economy and their personal finances. There are virtually no partisan differences in opinions about the agreement.
Deficit Solutions Meet With Public Skepticism
While an overwhelming number of Americans deem the deficit a major problem that must be dealt with now, few are willing to support specific proposals to address the issue. On dealing with the deficit, Obama has more credibility than Republican congressional leaders.
Mixed Views on Tax Cuts, Support for START and Allowing Gays to Serve Openly
With the public giving subpar approval ratings to President Obama and continuing to express negative views of Congress and the political parties, it goes its own way on many of the remaining issues before the lame-duck Congress.