Americans are split on whether Congress should raise the debt ceiling

Linley SandersSenior Data Journalist
December 08, 2022, 8:14 PM GMT+0

Congress will need to raise the debt ceiling in the next few months if it is going to prevent the United States government's defaulting on its financial commitments — but polling from the Economist/YouGov shows that Americans are split on whether Congress should pass the increase or not.

Americans were shown a description of the current predicament, explaining that in order for the U.S. Treasury to incur debt above the ceiling, Congress needs to vote to raise the ceiling, which it has done regularly in the past. People are split on whether Congress should raise the debt ceiling, with slightly more saying it should not (38%) than say it should (33%). Republicans (62%) and conservatives (66%) are especially likely to say the increase should not happen.

House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy has said he does not want to pass the increase immediately, and would rather use debt ceiling negotiations as a way to force federal spending cuts. Half of Republicans (48%) approve of how McCarthy is handling his job, compared to just 27% of Americans overall.

— Carl Bialik and Taylor Orth contributed to this article

See the toplines and crosstabs from the Economist/YouGov poll conducted on December 3 - 6, 2022 among 1,500 U.S. adult citizens.

Methodology: Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel using sample matching. A random sample (stratified by gender, age, race, education, geographic region, and voter registration) was selected from the 2019 American Community Survey. The sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, education, 2020 election turnout and presidential vote, baseline party identification, and current voter registration status. Demographic weighting targets come from the 2019 American Community Survey. Baseline party identification is the respondent’s most recent answer given prior to June 1, 2022, and is weighted to the estimated distribution at that time (34% Democratic, 31% Republican). The margin of error for the overall sample is approximately 3%.

Image: Adobe Stock