Only half of all Republicans and self-identified conservatives favor extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, a new public opinion poll shows. Fewer say they favor extending the Bush tax cuts just for those making less than $250,000 a year.
A study released by CNN on Friday suggests that Republicans face a curious public opinion deficit in their efforts to keep tax rates at current levels for income groups across the board. The party's base isn't entirely sold on keeping the rates in place. But they also don't favor raising them on the wealthy and no one else.
Top officials in the GOP have said they will fight the president's proposal to extend the Bush tax cuts for the lower and middle classes while allowing those for the wealthy to expire. But few voting blocs appear to back that approach.
According to the survey, only 26 percent of self-identified moderates back extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. Only nine percent of liberals said the same thing. Conventional wisdom would hold that Republicans would be the chief proponents of the proposal. But only 50 percent of conservative respondents said they want tax rates for the wealthy kept in place -- the same percentage of Republicans support a full extension of the Bush tax cuts.
As for extending the tax cuts for those making under $250,000 a year, 69 percent of liberals support that approach, 53 percent of moderates, and only 36 percent of conservatives.
Meanwhile, every single age group polled by CNN favored extending tax cuts for just the lower brackets over extending them for all groups (including the wealthy). So too did respondents from every single region of the country.