The survey found 58 percent of people have little or no confidence political leaders can negotiate a compromise before Jan. 1, reflecting deep pessimism among voters about Washington’s ability to solve major problems facing the country.

Only 39 percent believe the two sides will reach an agreement that stops the looming combination of $500 billion in tax increases and $109 billion in automatic spending cuts, which economists say would trigger a recession.

Voters are eager to see the two sides come together on a long-term debt pact.

Fifty percent want Obama and congressional Republicans to strike a comprehensive deal before the end of the year, according to the poll, conducted for The Hill by Pulse Opinion Research. Only 36 percent believe it would be better to reach a short-term agreement that buys time for negotiators to reach a so-called “grand bargain” to slash the deficit.