Weekly Polling Analysis

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According to Fox News, 49% of registered voters (47% of Independent registered voters) believe lawmakers could eliminate the federal deficit if they got rid of waste and fraud. 42% (40% of Independents) think lawmakers will have to make painful decisions about taxes and spending in order to eliminate the national debt.

According to Pew, 72% of adults think reducing the budget deficit should be a top priority for lawmakers. That figure is up 19 points from four years ago.

According to Associated Press/GfK, 30% of adults think Congress should focus on raising taxes to cut the budget deficit; 49% think it should concentrate on cutting spending; and 11% think it should focus on both equally.

Associated Press/GfK asked which policies respondents would support in order to cut the budget deficit. According to the poll:

  • 41% of adults would support cutting defense spending; 40% would oppose.
  • 35% of adults would support raising the Medicare eligibility age; 53% would oppose.
  • 30% of adults would support changing the way the Social Security benefits are increased so the annual increase is less than it is today; 49% would oppose.
  • 60% of adults would support raising Medicare premiums for wealthier individuals; 25% would oppose.

President Obama: Average approval from early to late January was 52.2% according to RealClearPolitics. Average disapproval was 43.1%. (The average one week ago, which covered early to mid-January, was 52.8%. Average disapproval was 43.0%)

Here are the polls released this week on Presidential job approval:

  • Associated Press/GfK: 54% of adults approve and 42% disapprove.
  • CBS/New York Times: 51% of adults approve, up from 47% in late January 2012. 41% disapprove, down from 45% one year ago.
  • Fox News: 47% of registered voters (37% of Independent registered voters) approve, up from 45% in January 2012, and 47% (49% of Independents) disapprove, the same as one year ago.

Gallup tracks President Obama’s job approval on a weekly basis. The average one week ago (Jan. 7-13, 2012) showed 54% approved and 41% disapproved. The latest weekly numbers available (Jan. 14-20, 2012) showed 50% approve and 43% disapprove. Last year at this time (Jan. 16-22, 2011), 45% approved and 46% disapproved.

Rasmussen conducts a daily tracking poll. One week ago (Jan. 18), 54% approved and 45% disapproved. On Jan. 25, approval was 55%; disapproval was 44%. Last year at this time, the President’s approval was 48% and his disapproval 51%.

Congress: Average approval for early- to mid-January was 15.2% according to the RealClearPolitics average. Average disapproval was 79.3%. (The average one week ago, which covered early to mid-January, was 15.3%. Average disapproval was 80.3%)

Here are the polls released this week on Congressional job approval:

  • Associated Press/GfK: 17% of adults approve and 77% disapprove.
  • CBS/New York Times: 12% of adults approve, down from 13% in late January 2012. 82% disapprove, up from 79% one year ago.
  • Fox News: 16% of registered voters (5% of Independent registered voters) approve and 76% (85% of Independents) disapprove.

Right Track/Wrong Track: According to the RealClearPolitics average, which covered  mid- to late January, 36.6% think the country is headed in the right direction while 56.4% think it is headed in the wrong direction. (One week ago, the right track average, which covered early to mid-January, was 36%. The wrong track average was 57.3%.)

Here are the polls released this week on the direction of the country:

  • Associated Press/GfK: 38% of adults think the country is headed in the right direction and 53% think it is headed in the wrong direction.
  • CBS/New York Times: 38% of adults think the country is headed in the right direction, up from 29% in late January 2012. 57% think it is headed in the wrong direction, down from 66% one year ago.
  • Rasmussen: 35% of likely voters think the country is headed in the right direction and 57% think it is headed in the wrong direction.

ISSUE SPECIFIC

Budget Deficit & Spending:
According to Fox News, 21% of registered voters (15% of Independent registered voters) think the federal deficit will go down this year.

According to Fox News, 77% of registered voters (80% of Independent registered voters) think cutting the federal deficit is a worthy goal in itself. 17% (15% of Independents) do not believe it is a worthy goal on its own.

According to Fox News, 11% of registered voters (5% of Independent registered voters) think federal government spending is managed carefully while 83% (91% of Independents) think it is out of control.

According to Rasmussen, 81% of likely voters feel members of Congress should take a 25% pay cut until the federal budget is balanced. Only 12% disagree.

According to CBS/New York Times, 13% of adults think the budget deficit is the most important thing for the president to focus on over the next four years. Only the economy (23%) received a higher percentage.

President Obama approval on the issue:

Debt Ceiling:
According to Gallup, 56% of adults say the federal debt ceiling has hurt their family’s finances.

According to Fox News, 23% of registered voters (21% of Independent registered voters) think it is reckless not to increase the debt ceiling. 69% (68% of Independents) say the ceiling should only be increased after lawmakers agree to spending cuts.

According to Associated Press/GfK, 31% of adults support raising the debt ceiling, 19% oppose and 40% neither support or oppose.

According to CBS/New York Times, 17% of adults think the debt ceiling should be raised without condition; 60% think it should raised only with spending cuts; and 18% think it should not be raised at all. According to Associated Press/GfK, 30% of adults think Congress should raise the debt ceiling without precondition; 39% think it should be raised only when combined with significant spending cuts; and 21% think it shouldn’t be raised at all.

Economy & Jobs:
According to Rasmussen, 53% of likely voters think economic growth is more important than economic fairness while 35% think economic fairness is more important. 12% were not sure.

According to CBS/New York Times, 33% of adults think the economy is getting better, 30% think it is getting worse, and 36% say it is stuck in neutral.

According to Associated Press/GfK, 39% of adults think the economy will be better in one year, 34% think it will be worse and 23% think it will be the same.

According to Fox News, 0% of registered voters (the same number of Independent registered voters) think the economy is in excellent shape; 9% (7% of Independents) think it is in good shape; 40% (38% of Independents) think it is in fair shape; and 51% (55% of Independents) think it is in poor shape. According to CBS/New York Times, 2% of adults think the economy is in very good shape; 30% think it is in fairly good shape; 43% think it is in fairly bad shape; and 23% think it is in very bad shape. According to Associated Press/GfK, 23% of adults think the economy is in good shape and 62% think it is in poor shape.

According to Gallup, its “Economic Confidence Index improved to -13 for the week ending Jan. 20, from -18 the week prior. Americans’ confidence in the economy has improved for three weeks in a row after deteriorating during fiscal cliff negotiations.”

According to CBS/New York Times, 23% of adults think the economy is the most important thing for the president to focus on over the next four years. No other issue received a higher percentage.

President Obama approval on the issue:

  • CBS/New York Times: 46% of adults approve, up from 40% in late January 2012. 49% disapprove, down from 54% one year ago.

Health Care:
According to CBS/New York Times, 24% of adults think the 2010 health care law should be expanded; 18% think it should be kept as is; 19% think the individual mandate should be repealed; and 33% think the entire law should be repealed.

Regulations:
According to Gallup, 48% of adults say government regulations have hurt their family’s finances.

Taxes:
According to Fox News, 88% of registered voters (92% of Independent registered voters) think their federal taxes will go up this year.

According to Gallup, 69% of adults say taxes have hurt their family’s finances.

According to Fox News, 43% of registered voters (39% of Independent registered voters) think President Obama has kept his promise not to raise middle class taxes. 50% (52% of Independents) do not believe he has.

According to Rasmussen, 22% of adults favor a national sales tax on all goods and services. 62% oppose the creation of such a tax and 16% are undecided.

According to Rasmussen, 31% of likely voters think it’s a good idea to swap income taxes for sales taxes. 41% don’t think it’s a good idea to eliminate a state’s income tax in exchange for a higher sales tax. 28% are not sure.

 

Public Notice is an independent non-profit dedicated to providing facts and insight on the economy and how government policy affects Americans’ financial well-being.

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