Gallup: Americans paying attention oppose debt-ceiling increase almost 2-1

posted at 10:05 am on July 13, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Good news for the White House: the gap between those who oppose a debt-ceiling increase at all narrowed over the past two months.  Bad news for the White House: opposition is still almost 2-1 in the latest Gallup to the debt-ceiling hike for which Obama has gone on a national campaign.  The gap shrunk from 28% to 20%, with slightly over a third of Americans saying that they don’t know enough to decide:

Despite agreement among leaders of both sides of the political aisle in Washington that raising the U.S. debt ceiling is necessary, more Americans want their member of Congress to vote against such a bill than for it, 42% vs. 22%, while one-third are unsure. This 20-percentage-point edge in opposition to raising the debt ceiling in Gallup’s July 7-10 poll is slightly less than the 28-point lead (47% vs. 19%) seen in May.

Here’s the second paragraph from Gallup.  Might they have taken Barack Obama’s poll analysis a little too seriously?  You be the judge:

This measure reflects public opinion about raising the debt ceiling in the abstract. The question wording did not mention the rationales for or against raising the debt ceiling, nor did it explain that any such move would ultimately be a part of a broader budget bill involving spending cuts and perhaps tax increases.

Remember, Obama scolded CBS’ Chip Reid for push polling by asking the obviously biased question in the CBS poll, “Should the debt ceiling be raised?”  Gallup’s question would probably send Obama into orbit: “From what you know or have read about the discussion of raising the debt ceiling, would you want your member of Congress to — [vote in favor of raising the debt ceiling, vote against raising the debt ceiling] — or don’t you know enough to say?”  I’m pretty sure that’s a great example of push polling, right there, because Obama says any result that disfavors his position must be part of some plot, and stuff.

The campaign over the last two months hasn’t had a measurable impact; the splits are roughly the same.  Republicans opposing the debt-ceiling hike dropped ten points, but only three points shifted to supporting the hike (11/60 now, was 8/70) with the rest falling into the “don’t know enough” category.  Independents have barely budged from their more than 2-1 opposition (18/46 now, 15/46 in May).  Democrats remain mainly unconvinced, too, with just a 39/21 split favoring Obama’s position.

In case that wasn’t bad enough, Gallup recalculated its results to include only those paying very close attention — and a majority of those respondents oppose raising the debt ceiling 53/37. By almost the same margin, respondents in this category are more worried about raising the debt ceiling without getting “major spending cuts” than they are about an economic crisis resulting from a failure to raise the ceiling (56/34).

I guess these people aren’t paying attention attention.

Pushing such an unpopular position has taken its toll on Obama’s standing, Politico reports:

The prickly, political back-and-forth over raising the nation’s debt ceiling is demoralizing consumers, analysts suggest, and threatening President’s Barack Obama’s bid for a second term. …

According to surveys and economists, this harsh reality feeds consumer anxiety, stunting the recovery and — in a boost to Republicans — undermining faith in Obama’s handling of the economy.

Voters have not returned an incumbent party to the Oval Office with the Consumer Confidence Index below 100. Released by the nonprofit Conference Board since 1967, the monthly index dropped 3.2 points to 58.5 in June.

Voters made it clear in 2010 that they wanted the debt and deficit issues addressed through spending cuts, not more borrowing.  Demanding a tax hike in exchange for an extension on his credit limit puts Obama in just about the worst political position possible in this environment.

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Americans oppose it so politicians will raise it.

darwin-t on July 13, 2011 at 10:07 AM

this sounds like a great time to surrender and give Obama everything, its a moral moral victory, the polls now say so cause thats what matters.

rob verdi on July 13, 2011 at 10:08 AM

What difference does this make? A majority of Americans opposed Obamacare and we all know what happened there.

Doughboy on July 13, 2011 at 10:09 AM

The Thug in Chief is not going to like this…

d1carter on July 13, 2011 at 10:10 AM

In case that wasn’t bad enough, Gallup recalculated its results to include only those paying very close attention — and a majority of those respondents oppose raising the debt ceiling 53/37.

Big flipping deal, that number generally represents tea-party types who will oppose Obama anyway.

rob verdi on July 13, 2011 at 10:11 AM

In which case why, politically speaking, would Republicans go along with him? Are they afraid the public will lose its nerve?

Seth Halpern on July 13, 2011 at 10:12 AM

slightly over a third of Americans saying that they don’t know enough to decide

1/3rd of Americans are clueless…how typical…but they can tell you everything you wanted to know about Casey Anthony…pathetic

PatriotRider on July 13, 2011 at 10:12 AM

This whole episode just reminds me of how inept and ineffective the GOP is at messaging and getting out in front of an issue – even when they’re right about it.

Good Lt on July 13, 2011 at 10:15 AM

This is doubly important becasue those paying attention attention vote. Those who have no friggen clue what the debt ceiling even is don’t vote.

NotCoach on July 13, 2011 at 10:15 AM

Since when has this anti-American President ever conceded to the wishes of the majority of americans?

kingsjester on July 13, 2011 at 10:15 AM

headwinds

DanMan on July 13, 2011 at 10:16 AM

Pushing such an unpopular position has taken its toll on Obama’s standing

How do ya like them peas, jug ears?

petefrt on July 13, 2011 at 10:17 AM

Terrific! Now lets lie down and let him run over us with the bus! Mitch McConnell has filled up the gas tank (with non-ethanol gas!).

SouthernGent on July 13, 2011 at 10:18 AM

Two to one! That’s a lot of people not paying attention.

Tommy_G on July 13, 2011 at 10:19 AM

Excellent point made here -that for decades, the democratics have scolded those that recommend some measure of privatization of Social Security. They have told us that anything short of a government program is unreliable. Now Little Bammie is using seniors as human shields, warning Republicans that ‘granny gets it’ if I don’t get my juice.

Let’s remember this when the time comes to take another look at alternatives to government-run Social Security. A private form of Social Security would also be able to protect us against hyperinflation and the destruction of the dollar, not to mention a tyrannical president.

slickwillie2001 on July 13, 2011 at 10:19 AM

I agree with Rove, Obama needs to deal soon or he will be known as the first president to ever let the US default. Now, whether he cares or not is another story. Someone else wrote the House needs to pass a 100B debt limit increase to cover SS payments and dare the Senate and President to veto this.

MJZZZ on July 13, 2011 at 10:22 AM

Gold hit a new all-time high this morning.

Emperor Norton on July 13, 2011 at 10:22 AM

Yeah – why do you think Obama and other Democrats are ratcheting up the rhetoric about SS checks not going out, cats and dogs living together, mass hysteria etc.

They know it’s not popular. Obama’s even already given the classic liberal answer to the question of why their ideas aren’t popular: the people are stupid and it’s the job of political elites to take care of things (yeah – the same political elites that ran up 14 Trillion in debt).

gwelf on July 13, 2011 at 10:22 AM

The prickly, political back-and-forth over raising the nation’s debt ceiling is demoralizing consumers

Um, no. The rotten economy, driven downwards by the democrat party since January 2007 is demoralizing consumers. The debt ceiling debate is about whether we will allow them to keep digging us deeper into the hole.

Vashta.Nerada on July 13, 2011 at 10:24 AM

I’m sure if he goes on TV some more, we will all fall in line./

Cindy Munford on July 13, 2011 at 10:24 AM

I still say Warren Buffet’s idea from last week makes more sense than anything I’ve heard in quite a while.

“I could end the deficit in 5 minutes. You just pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more than 3% of GDP, all sitting members of congress are ineligible for reelection.”

Problem solved.

Syd B. on July 13, 2011 at 10:25 AM

Voters made it clear in 2010 that they wanted the debt and deficit issues addressed through spending cuts, not more borrowing. Demanding a tax hike in exchange for an extension on his credit limit puts Obama in just about the worst political position possible in this environment.

Too bad there are 2 political parties in Washington that aren’t listening to these voters.

search4truth on July 13, 2011 at 10:25 AM

+100 good LT

Spot on

cmsinaz on July 13, 2011 at 10:25 AM

Big flipping deal, that number generally represents tea-party types who will oppose Obama anyway.

rob verdi on July 13, 2011 at 10:11 AM

Gallup recalculated its results to include only those paying very close attention….you seem to be saying tea-party types are the ones paying very close attention. Do you think those paying very close attention is a bad thing? Do you believe not paying close attention is better for America?

IowaWoman on July 13, 2011 at 10:26 AM

Not paying attention, in Obama speak, means not agreeing with his wisdom.

nogooddeed on July 13, 2011 at 10:27 AM

Voters have not returned an incumbent party to the Oval Office with the Consumer Confidence Index below 100. Released by the nonprofit Conference Board since 1967, the monthly index dropped 3.2 points to 58.5 in June.

Good God, these numbers are catastrophic for Obama. There is nothing he can do to get that number over 100 by next fall.

rockmom on July 13, 2011 at 10:27 AM

I’m sure if he goes on TV some more, we will all fall in line./

Cindy Munford on July 13, 2011 at 10:24 AM

Here’s some kool-aid – trust me it’s good – it’s cherry

gophergirl on July 13, 2011 at 10:27 AM

gophergirl on July 13, 2011 at 10:27 AM

I need bubbles!

Cindy Munford on July 13, 2011 at 10:29 AM

Gold hit a new all-time high this morning.

Emperor Norton on July 13, 2011 at 10:22 AM

LOL, maybe that Gold Eagle coin my son got for his 12th birthday will end up paying for his entire college education. Or maybe I should hang on to it so I can buy food and ammo in a few months when the SHTF.

rockmom on July 13, 2011 at 10:30 AM

Demanding a tax hike in exchange for an extension on his credit limit puts Obama in just about the worst political position possible in this environment.

More reason NOT to go the McConnell back-up plan. There is NO reason for the Republicans to back down. They don’t need the political cover McConnell’s plan would be. They have political AND economic/policy cover.

cartooner on July 13, 2011 at 10:31 AM

To add insult to injury, Helicopter Ben Bernanke is hinting about firing up the printers again. Q3 to infinity!

Mike Honcho on July 13, 2011 at 10:35 AM

Demanding a tax hike in exchange for an extension on his credit limit puts Obama in just about the worst political position possible in this environment.

Sadly, I don’t know that that’s true. I thought that polls also showed Americans favored taxing the eeeevil rich (but Gallup does not ask that question here). We have no way of knowing how many respondents would say, “We need to raise taxes to “raise revenue” so that a debt ceiling increase is not needed”. And yes, I realize that the entire premise that tax hikes raise revenue, or can cover the deficit, is completely wrong, but I don’t know how many Americans realize that.

Buy Danish on July 13, 2011 at 10:36 AM

IowaWoman,
I am saying the political impact is mitigated by the fact that those paying closer attention would likely oppose Obama anyway.

rob verdi on July 13, 2011 at 10:36 AM

1/3 of Americans don’t know enough?

Cripe, and these folks will vote for dear leader more than likely

Ugh

cmsinaz on July 13, 2011 at 10:36 AM

slightly over a third of Americans saying that they don’t know enough to decide (whether or not debt-ceiling should be raised)…

And that is exactly what Obama is relying on, those third of Americans who “don’t know enough to decide”…so they usually just go along with what they’re told they ‘should’ think, do, who to vote for.

It’s a complicated issue, no doubt about it, but so are many things. The point being that Americans — including the “over a third” of us — need to accept the gravity of the situation and inform themselves, and then take a stand.

Lourdes on July 13, 2011 at 10:39 AM

Mike Honcho on July 13, 2011 at 10:35 AM

I just read that. WTF?

ORconservative on July 13, 2011 at 10:39 AM

When the going gets tough, the tough do not start analyzing and pontificating about polls.

Just sayin’….

MrScribbler on July 13, 2011 at 10:40 AM

rockmom on July 13, 2011 at 10:27 AM

Yes, well, we had never elected a black man with the only resume’ to his name, being that he was a “community organizer”…just saying…

lovingmyUSA on July 13, 2011 at 10:40 AM

Like I said – Obama REALLLY doesn’t want the Americans to start paying attention to this debate.

hawksruleva on July 13, 2011 at 10:40 AM

Crickets chirping from the lsm natch

Blame gop, all hell will break loose if its not raised, yada yada yada

cmsinaz on July 13, 2011 at 10:42 AM

Gold hit a new all-time high this morning.

Emperor Norton on July 13, 2011 at 10:22 AM

Leaving the bond markets? If there’s a deal made and the debt-ceiling IS raised, bonds are going to suffer.

Lourdes on July 13, 2011 at 10:42 AM

I’m sure if he goes on TV some more, we will all fall in line./

Cindy Munford on July 13, 2011 at 10:24 AM

I wish he would, strictly because the more times he goes on the air, the more he is making himself look like a complete blithering idiot.

pilamaye on July 13, 2011 at 10:43 AM

This is doubly important becasue those paying attention attention vote. Those who have no friggen clue what the debt ceiling even is don’t vote.

NotCoach on July 13, 2011 at 10:15 AM

Yes they do – they vote Democrat.

Midas on July 13, 2011 at 10:44 AM

Now Little Bammie is using seniors as human shields, warning Republicans that ‘granny gets it’ if I don’t get my juice.

slickwillie2001 on July 13, 2011 at 10:19 AM

Well said.

Lourdes on July 13, 2011 at 10:46 AM

Bernanke calling for more stimulus VIA drudge

cmsinaz on July 13, 2011 at 10:47 AM

To add insult to injury, Helicopter Ben Bernanke is hinting about firing up the printers again. Q3 to infinity!

Mike Honcho on July 13, 2011 at 10:35 AM

I say forget about impeachment or criminal charges and go straight to having those people adjudged to be certifiably INSANE.

Chip on July 13, 2011 at 10:48 AM

I just read that. WTF?

ORconservative on July 13, 2011 at 10:39 AM

Ben thinks our groceries are not expensive enough,..needs to make that dollar worth even less.

a capella on July 13, 2011 at 10:49 AM

Now Little Bammie is using seniors as human shields, warning Republicans that ‘granny gets it’ if I don’t get my juice.

slickwillie2001 on July 13, 2011 at 10:19 AM

Obama: Nice Share of the Social Security fund you have there, it would be too bad if you had to Sacrifice it.

Chip on July 13, 2011 at 10:49 AM

Here’s some kool-aid – trust me it’s good – it’s cherry

gophergirl on July 13, 2011 at 10:27 AM

Little Bammie’s 2012 Kool-Aid flavor for America is Black Raspberry.

slickwillie2001 on July 13, 2011 at 10:53 AM

This is why the House should hold firm on spending cuts without tax increases. In fact, they should pass a debt ceiling increase bill that’s contingent on massive spending cuts and just let Obama veto it (or the Senate D’s vote against it). Then, the a de facto shutdown can’t be blamed on the House.

The American people aren’t against spending cuts. They know the federal government spends too much. Hold out for the cuts or let the government shut down due to spending restrictions.

blink on July 13, 2011 at 10:19 AM

Agreed!!! In addition, the House bill should be a SHORT-TERM fix–for example, increase the debt ceiling by three months’ worth of deficits (about $400 billion) in exchange for $400 billion in spending cuts THIS YEAR (FY 2012, not over 5 or 10 years). Then send it to the Senate and let them either vote it through or let the Senate Democrats be blamed for the shutdown, or let Obama veto it and be blamed for the shutdown.

Then we have three months to debate the BIGGER budget cuts, and keep Obama’s feet to the fire.

Steve Z on July 13, 2011 at 10:55 AM

This whole episode just reminds me of how inept and ineffective the GOP is at messaging and getting out in front of an issue – even when they’re right about it.

Good Lt on July 13, 2011 at 10:15 AM

This is the albatross of the GOP—clearly not having the tools, (or the mechanism), to advance the narrative. Why the debt clock doesn’t begin in every ad produced by the GOP is mind-boggling. Why real unemployment is at 15%-20% because Obama and the liberal Democrats have been on a spending spree—that has led us to this unsustainable debt crisis. The Republican leadership is failing miserably to convey this message.

Rovin on July 13, 2011 at 10:56 AM

No worries, America.

Take a few more bong hits and have some munchies!

Everything’s cool …

/s

RedPepper on July 13, 2011 at 10:57 AM

Hold out for the cuts or let the government shut down due to spending restrictions.
blink on July 13, 2011 at 10:19 AM

Do you think this helps Republicans?

slickwillie2001 on July 13, 2011 at 10:19 AM

Great link, thanks

Syd B. on July 13, 2011 at 10:25 AM

Yeah, well I don’t trust Warren Buffet at all. He’s a huge promoter of the Estate Tax and increased income taxes. Clearly his answer to the deficit would be to raise taxes.

Buy Danish on July 13, 2011 at 10:58 AM

This is a long-term trend, not one that has been sneaking up on anyone, and the shift of the population in general is catastrophic. It has been argued by those on the Left that those generally in tune with with events (those paying real attention) will shift those who don’t. That has been the venue of ‘community organizers’ and their ilk, to try and get a committed group that will shift general numbers.

That has a downside when ‘those in the know’ keep on spouting the same thing and it doesn’t work. They get seen as being isolated and unwilling to deal with what is happening. Now the meme of ‘those in the know shifting the general populace’ is working against the Left: they have lost traction with all but 1/3 of the nation and the other 2/3 is not willing to put up with failed programs and policies that are destroying jobs and income.

Of course this is a problem for the Republican elite establishment, as well, as they have a vested interest in a status quo system. That status quo is now being broken not from the top but the bottom, and not by the Left but by the Center.

Why is that? Where is the downturn felt the most: amongst the poor, amongst the rich or amongst the middle class? The poor have little to lose, because they had little to start with. The rich can insulate themselves against economic downturns (that is why you want to get rich, after all). The middle class has lives and livelihoods to lose and when promises made turn false and expensive, they tune in as they ARE the technically competent ones running the economy, not big businesses.

Middle America traditionally creates the engine of the economy: small businesses. Small businesses give people a chance to earn their way to a better life, including the poor. It isn’t the multi-billion dollar players that represent the economy, they only represent a fraction of 1% of the people in the economy even though their wealth is huge their representation is miniscule. They can only buy votes so long as there is a vibrant middle class since when the middle class starts to show up in the ranks of the poor, then the people who know how the economy works have free time on their hands… and that is a lethal situation for the rich and the elites. That tells the poor that the rich have shut off ANY WAY OUT OF BEING POOR.

You can make that last long if you have a hydraulic empire and little beyond Iron Age technology. After that the longest running of such situations have been the USSR and China on a large scale, and dysfunctional small Nations in central and south america on the small scale, which hold the post-industrial records for entrenched elites over the general population. Neither of these are sociologically similar to the US. The US can never be Europe as the Europeans that came here didn’t want to be Europeans any more.

That basic difference of an empowered middle class that allows entry into earning wealth and making good on your life is coming through. One-third of the Nation wants to be ruled and have rulers… the other two-thirds want nothing of that, tyvm. You can fool the large portion of the American people for decades, yes. That isn’t forever. The Ponzi Schemes show what they are, the piggy bank is empty and those trying to game the system are now revealed as uncaring manipulators seeking power. America has an answer for that.

It isn’t pretty but is very civilized.

ajacksonian on July 13, 2011 at 11:01 AM

Yeah, well I don’t trust Warren Buffet at all. He’s a huge promoter of the Estate Tax and increased income taxes. Clearly his answer to the deficit would be to raise taxes.

Buy Danish on July 13, 2011 at 10:58 AM

If Warren Buffett wants to pay more income taxes, all he has to do is declare a dividend on his fund.

Little Bammie’s favorite millionaires and billionaires shoot their mouths off over income tax, but mention changing the Family Trusts loophole and they will have heart palpitations.

slickwillie2001 on July 13, 2011 at 11:05 AM

slickwillie2001 on July 13, 2011 at 11:05 AM

If Warren Buffett wants to Share, then he should lead by example and be the first to Sacrifice.

Until such time that he divests ALL of his holdings, he should TFSU!

Chip on July 13, 2011 at 11:12 AM

Damn straight we’re paying attention. And we’re paying attention to the monumental unprecedented condescension that this president so off-handedly flings our way almost daily.

One specific way we’re paying attention in the Space household, and many others may be I’m sure: we have two, soon to be three, kids in college. Even with state schools the tuition is unconscionably high, to the point of blatant rip off. I don’t care how many fancy tech centers they have, they’re making you pay for the privilege of having your child’s mind fried. In a way it’s only proper that we have a product of the faculty lounge in the WH. If they reproduced biologically you’d say they were a Darwinian success story. It’s a good thing they don’t but they do reproduce academically, so they are a kind of meta-Darwinian success story. These academics have arranged for a fat, self-perpetuating, no-work luxuriously-appointed lifestyle previously unknown. They snicker at us working dopes from behind their soft hands in the faculty lounges.

A new feature of the college finance struggle now is the “parent loan.” It’s already a cruel joke to pay your mortgage on time. You feel like a fool. So. Paying attention, as we are, and taking a cue from our political leaders then, yes, we will be raising our own household debt ceiling to borrow whatever it takes to get these smart kids through the outrageously overpriced crappy politically-warped colleges. Then when the first loan payment comes due…well, we’ll see what we can do, and we’ll consider just how much of a hit you really take by, y’know, defaulting. Wink wink. By that time we may all be subsistence farmers in any case.

The tipping point is at hand.

curved space on July 13, 2011 at 11:16 AM

What? I wasn’t listening.

madmonkphotog on July 13, 2011 at 11:16 AM

Little Bammie’s favorite millionaires and billionaires shoot their mouths off over income tax, but mention changing the Family Trusts loophole and they will have heart palpitations.
slickwillie2001 on July 13, 2011 at 11:05 AM

I think he has cut his kids out for the most part, but that does not prevent him from voluntarily writing nice fat checks to the Treasury. Indeed, Barack Obama could have “invested” more of his income but he took the normal deductions. They only want to “sacrifice” other people’s money.

Buy Danish on July 13, 2011 at 11:18 AM

Seriouly, though, we are paying attention. We sent the GOP back to D.C. with a very clear message – STOP SPENDING. If the debt ceiling is raised even a dollar, there will be hell to pay.

I know people will say, well it has to be done, I ask you this – how are you able to spend more money than you earn if you no longer have any credit or savings?

madmonkphotog on July 13, 2011 at 11:22 AM

Seriouly, though, we are paying attention. We sent the GOP back to D.C. with a very clear message – STOP SPENDING. If the debt ceiling is raised even a dollar, there will be hell to pay.

I know people will say, well it has to be done, I ask you this – how are you able to spend more money than you earn if you no longer have any credit or savings?

madmonkphotog on July 13, 2011 at 11:22 AM

Not pickin’ on you, mad, but how’s that “stop spending!” message you/we sent workin’ out for ya?

We gave ‘em “hell to pay” in ’10, and they’re so terrified of us that they’re running up the debt faster than ever.

But, but, next time!!!eleventy!!!!!

MrScribbler on July 13, 2011 at 11:38 AM

How to get the deficit back to 2% of GDP (historical average) by 2015 and 2030. With no tax increases.

http://blogs.marketwatch.com/fundmastery/2010/11/15/how-i-cut-the-deficit-saved-the-country/

Doesn’t look too hard does it? And I’m sure that a lot of other Federal programs on top of this could be scrapped and 99% of the population would be unaware that they were gone.

The Democrats have pushed the country over the edge into an economic abyss- and the Republicans are doing a dreadful job of slashing spending and of explaining to America the terrible position it’s in. Entitlement spending is a problem but can’t the GOP start with stopping the funding, for example, for the NIH to spend money on investigations into drunken gay sex in Brazil and drunken prostitution in SE Asia?

http://www.commonsensejunction.com/?p=7199

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/05/14/nih-funds-million-study-prostitutes-china-drink/

Pretty small stuff but all those dollars add up and I’m sure there are hundreds of other programs you could find that a vast majority of Americans would agree the USA can’t afford at a time when it’s running trillion dollar plus deficits.

Jay Mac on July 13, 2011 at 11:38 AM

I pay attention just not when the liar is talking. Notice how he looks down when he starts to speak. Tonya sez that is a tell. OBTW, keep the damn check and buy yourself another cheeseberger, Barry.

Kissmygrits on July 13, 2011 at 11:40 AM

The 1/3 mentioned only pay attention to 1 thing,the 1st of the month.

docflash on July 13, 2011 at 11:46 AM

The more Obama talks, the less people believe him. So he has to dismiss them as ignorant for listening to him. Mark Halperin was right.

Jim Treacher on July 13, 2011 at 12:18 PM

Something will be approved at 1:30 am on a Sunday morning….

Caper29 on July 13, 2011 at 12:39 PM