Some new polls show that Barack Obama may catch some heat and blame if America goes over the Fiscal Cliff in 2013. For the past few weeks, the Media has been selling the story that only Republicans will be blamed. However, a fresh poll conducted by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal shows that 56% would blame both political parties if the Fiscal Cliff talks fail. Obama still has wide support for increasing taxes on the upper income earners, even from Republicans polled. But 46% want the Congress to take the lead in setting the nation′s policies, compared to 40% for Obama doing so. While 68% of those polled believe that Obama does have a mandate to raise taxes on people earning $250,000 per year or more, 65% also believe that he has a mandate for cutting spending as well to reduce the federal deficit.
Perhaps the most interesting question in the poll was Q10, which rated how people feel about Obama as he prepares to begin his second term. His numbers are nearly identical to those of George W. Bush in December of 2004! Both have 30% for ′Optimistic′ and ′Pessimistic′, as well as 17% for ′Uncertain.′ Obama only comes out one point better than Bush ′43 in ′Satisfied′, 23% to 22%. Question #18, which has several parts, covers the subject of party leaders in Congress compromising to get a budget deal done. When asked if Democrat leaders in the House and Senate should compromise, 70% of Democrats said yes and when asked about GOP leaders, only 59% of Republicans think their party leaders should bend on the issues. Independents want compromise for both, 74% on Democrats and 69% on Republicans.
As for the future of the U.S. economy, nearly two-thirds, 64%, think we are already in a recession. Only 38% think the economy will improve in 2013 and only 40% have any confidence in Obama leading an economic recovery. As for whether or not Washington will reach a solution to avoid the Fiscal Cliff, it′s split right down the middle with 48% for both yea and nay.
Meanwhile, another poll, this one conducted by McClatchy-Marist, also shows that the political landscape has not changed much at all since the election. Most people, 55%, think the country is headed in the wrong direction and 41% believe that the economy in 2013 will be no better with 34% thinking it will be worse, compared to only 25% who are optimistic. While the GOP is viewed unfavorably, this poll shows that it is Obama who stands to lose the most should the Fiscal Cliff talks fail. Two-thirds believe that Obama will be responsible for what happens with the economy over the next two years.
All in all, Barack Obama looks to be playing with fire if he and the Democrats think that they can kick the can of having real spending cuts and solving our Fiscal Cliff problem for 2013. Two new polls, one by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal, along with another by McClatchy-Marist, show that the country is generally pessimistic about the economy for the next year and blame both political parties, or Washington in general, for the problems we face. The argument which the Media has been floating for the past few weeks, that the blame game will hurt Republicans more, appears to be a myth.