President Obama is right to say that the majority of Americans support his tax plan, but Republicans are also correct to point to constituents who don’t think taxes on the wealthy should be raised.
Overall, 65 percent of respondents in a new Quinnipiac University poll said they support raising taxes on households making over $250,000 in order to reduce the federal budget deficit. But those in favor were more likely to be Democrats. A majority of Republicans—53 percent—said they oppose the plan, touted by the president throughout his reelection campaign.
Obama has tried to engage the public in his plan to raise taxes on the wealthy in order to reduce the deficit and strike a deal to avert year-end tax increases and spending cuts. The poll shows that Obama does have some advantages when it comes to public opinion: His approval rating is the highest it’s been since the death of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden. The public is also disenchanted with congressional Republicans.
“This is only the second time in more than three years that President Obama has broken 50 percent” in his approval rating, Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said in a statement. “And voters see Republicans as more likely to be obstructionist, and have less confidence in their ability to come up with the right solution to the nation’s financial woes.”
Respondents seemed unsure whether the White House and Congress could reach a deal to avert the cliff, with 48 percent saying that it would be averted and 43 percent saying the opposite.
The majority of Americans do have an opinion on the matter consuming Washington: Less than a third of respondents said they had no opinion on whether year-end tax increases and spending cuts would affect either their personal finances or the economy.
And for many Americans, the cliff is personal. Fifty-three percent of respondents said the fiscal cliff will hurt their personal finances. Fewer respondents—only 47 percent—said that going over the cliff will be bad for the economy.
Unsurprisingly, people making over $250,000 per year were most likely to say that going over the cliff would affect them personally, and were most likely to oppose the president’s plan to raise taxes on that bracket.
The Quinnipiac University Poll surveyed 1,949 registered voters between Nov. 28 and Dec. 3. The margin of error is plus or minus 2.2 percent.