If raising the debt limit were put up for a vote to the American public it would go down like Harry Reid’s approval ratings, because they would vote “nay.” A majority say the debt limit should only be raised after major spending cuts have been made.
A Fox News poll asks voters to imagine if they were a lawmaker and having to cast an up-or-down vote on raising the debt ceiling, and 37 percent would vote “Yea,” while 58 percent would vote “Nay.”
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew defended his scare tactics on Sunday, saying the country will be unable to meet its commitments starting October 17. However, 78 percent of Republicans and 57 percent of independents say they would vote against raising the debt limit. Almost all Tea Party Americans — 88 percent — say they would oppose the debt limit increase, although I have yet to meet a single Tea Party member who would be in the 12 percent who say otherwise.
Unsurprisingly, a majority of Democrats — 57 percent — would vote in favor of increasing the debt limit, while a still substantial 38 percent would vote against doing so.
However, 62 percent of American voters want Congress to raise the limit only after agreeing on “major cuts in government spending,” as only 27 percent say the limit must be increased and that is it “reckless” to even debate not doing so.
A bit of bad news for Obama, even Democrats, by a 48-42 percent margin, say spending cuts must accompany an increase in the debt limit.
Big margins of Republicans at 77-11 percent, and independents at 65-26 percent, would actually require cuts in government spending before agreeing to raise the debt limit.
Interestingly, voters think the automatic government spending cuts that went into effect March 1, or the sequestration Obama demanded then campaigned against, are more a good thing than a bad thing by a 48-39 percent margin. The number is essentially unchanged from the findings by Fox regarding how voters felt about the sequester cuts earlier this year.
Republicans — by 63 percent — are nearly twice as likely as Democrats at 32 percent to say the cuts are a good thing. Independents by 53 percent agree with Republicans, as well as 76 percent of Tea Party members.
The Fox News poll is based on landline and cellphone interviews with 952 randomly chosen registered voters nationwide and was conducted under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R) from October 1-2, 2013. The full poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.