Poll Shows Obama Is Losing the Debt Ceiling Debate

Most Americans favor only raising the debt limit if spending cuts are included.

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The latest national survey from Resurgent Republic shows that President Barack Obama is losing the argument over how best to handle the vote on raising the debt ceiling.

[See editorial cartoons about the budget and deficit.]

“President Obama’s request that Congress pass another increase in the federal debt limit and his argument that it should be a ‘clean’ debt ceiling increase without preconditions limiting spending,” the groups reports, “meets with overwhelming opposition from voters clearly frustrated by mounting federal debt.”

Obama’s position is supported by only 1 out of every 10 voters, the least popular of three options presented in the survey.

This survey of 1,000 registered voters was conducted April 17-20, with respondents selected randomly from a random-digit-dialing sample including both cell phone and landline telephone numbers. All respondents confirmed they were registered to vote in the county in which they live. The sample was minimally weighted to reflect the current Pollster.com Democratic advantage of four points over Republicans--34 percent Democrat, 32 percent independent, and 30 percent Republican.[Read the U.S. News debate: Should Congress raise the debt ceiling?]

The second-ranking option overall--not raising the debt limit under any circumstances--places second among independents and Democrats while being the top preference for Republicans surveyed.

The most popular option, “drawing support from a plurality of voters overall” is to raise the debt limit but only with accompanying spending cuts and a commitment to reduce the deficit.

"The days of ‘routine’ debt limit increase votes may be history, with voters holding firm views about the debt ceiling vote in a time of concern over the economy and a pervasive view that ‘we have got to stop spending money we don’t have,’” a sentiment that confirms the trends found in the group’s recent polling.

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