Fewer Than Half Think Congress And President Obama Will Avoid The "Fiscal Cliff"

November 28, 2012, 3:00 PM GMT+0

(Week of 11/23/2012) Only 42% in the latest Economist/YouGov Poll think it’s likely that the President and Congress will agree on a way to avoid the automatic spending cuts and tax increases that will go into effect should they not agree to a budget solution before January 1. At 43%, only slightly more say that’s unlikely.

Democrats are more hopeful than Republicans that a deal will be struck.

Should there be no agreement, there is a lot of blame to go around. About half the public (51%) would blame Republicans in Congress, and 43% would blame the President. Democrats, who are a minority in the House of Representatives, and are short of a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, are seen as less responsible: just 34% would blame them.

However, when it comes to economic conditions, President Obama — although in office nearly four years — still gets less of the blame than does his predecessor, President George W. Bush. 40% give the current occupant of the White House little or none of the blame for the poor economic conditions of the last few years; 42%
blame President Obama a great deal or a lot.

But even more blame those at both economic extremes: 54% put a great deal or a lot of the blame on consumers who borrowed too much money, while 63% blame
Wall Street bankers.

As for the poor economy, more still think it’s getting worse (38%) than think it’s getting better (28%). However, things are looking a lot better to Americans than they did when the President first took office nearly four years ago.