Poll: If Fiscal Cliff Negotiations Fail, Republicans Likely To Get Blame

Poll Shows Big Risk To Republicans In Fiscal Cliff Talks

Republicans in Congress could shoulder most of the blame for failed fiscal cliff negotiations, according to a Washington Post/Pew Poll released Tuesday.

A 53 percent majority of Americans said congressional Republicans would be more to blame if leaders failed to hammer out a deal, while just 27 percent would mostly blame President Barack Obama. While Democrats were the most likely to fault the GOP, about half of independents and 19 percent of Republicans also said they'd blame congressional Republicans.

As the Post's The Fix blog notes, "Those numbers are largely unchanged from a Post-Pew survey conducted three weeks ago and suggest that for all of the back and forth in Washington on the fiscal cliff, there has been little movement in public perception."

Polling on the issue has consistently shown that most Americans expect both sides to compromise, but that few hold out high hopes. A CNN survey found that two-thirds expect elected officials to behave "like spoiled children" in the negotiations.

GOP officials have been publicly pessimistic about the prospects for a deal, with House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) saying Sunday that "we're nowhere" and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) predicting a trip over the fiscal cliff. Perhaps accordingly, the Republicans polled are the most pessimistic, with 69 percent predicting that a deal won't be reached.

A HuffPost/YouGov poll this week found that Americans are unsure how well the talks are going or the likelihood of a resolution. A majority predicted there was some chance a deal would be reached, with more than 20 percent unsure.

The Post/Pew poll surveyed 1,003 adults by phone between Nov. 29 and Dec. 2, with a 3.5 percent margin of error.

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