POLITICS

Fiscal Cliff Poll Finds Divided Opinion Over Agreement

Jan 04, 2013

In the waning days of 2012, many Americans weren't sure the fiscal cliff could be avoided. Now that a deal has been reached, they are divided on what to make of it, a Gallup poll released Friday found.

Opinion was split almost evenly, with 43 percent of adults approving of the fiscal cliff deal, 45 percent disapproving, and 12 percent not sure.

"Although the last-minute agreement in Congress to forestall the fiscal cliff avoided what Americans perceived would be a very negative situation for the U.S. as a whole and for themselves personally, the American public is quite restrained in its reaction to the agreement," Gallup's Frank Newport wrote.

Democrats were most pleased by the agreement, with two thirds approving, compared to just 27 percent of Republicans. Independents were somewhat more likely to disapprove than approve of the deal.

The politicians behind the agreement received generally low marks, with Americans giving a thumbs down to the behavior of all the leaders involved. Only a quarter of Americans approved of how Congressional Republican leaders handled the negotiations, and only a third approved of Democratic leaders' conduct.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) all received net negative ratings of about 20 points. President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, who fared best in the poll, both still saw net negative ratings of 2 points.

The poll surveyed 1,026 people on Jan. 3, with a 4 percent margin of error.

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