Poll Results: Debt Ceiling

These are the topline results of a YouGov/Huffington Post survey of 1000 US adults interviewed October 14 - 15, 2013 on the debt ceiling. The results show that many Americans don't understand what raising the debt ceiling actually does, but many still think that failing to raise it will cause significant economic troubles. The margin of error is 3.8%.

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How much have you heard about the United States approaching a deadline to raise the federal debt limit?
Heard a lot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60%
Heard a little . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30%
Heard nothing at all . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10%

How confident are you that you could explain the the federal debt limit law to a friend?
Very confident . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20%
Somewhat confident . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31%
Not very confident . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23%
Not at all confident . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19%
Not sure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7%

Which comes closer to your understanding about what raising the debt limit would do?
Directly increase government spending and the amount of debt the U.S. holds  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39%
Allow the U.S. to pay interest on its debt and for spending that it has already authorized . . . . . . .  42%
Not sure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20%

From what you’ve read and heard, do you think the federal debt limit must be raised to avoid an economic crisis, or do you think the country can pass the deadline for raising the debt limit without major economic problems?
The debt ceiling must be raised to prevent an economic crisis . . . . . . . . . . . 44%
We can pass the deadline to raise the debt limit without major economic problems . . . . . . . . . . . . 29%
Not sure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27%

Which comes closer to your opinion about the U.S debt ceiling?
It’s a useful law that that limits debt and strengthens those trying to reduce
government spending . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31%
It’s a gimmick that has brought us to the brink of economic crisis without
controlling spending . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43%
I don’t know enough about it to say . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27%

Who do you think is most to blame for the shutdown of the federal government?
Compiled from individual responses
Democrats in Congress . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3%
Republicans in Congress . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39%
President Obama . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18%
Both Democrats in Congress and President Obama . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13%
Both Republicans in Congress and President Obama . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1%
Both Democrats and Republicans in Congress . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2%
All of them . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13%
Other . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5%
Not sure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6%
None of them . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1%
No Answer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0%


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