Rasmussen poll shows 56% in favor of tax deal

Rasmussen appears to have the first national poll on the tax deal between Barack Obama and the GOP, and so far, it’s a hit — especially among Republicans.  More than two-thirds of GOP voters support the deal, while only a plurality of Democrats do the same.  A slight majority of independents agree:

Most voters like the tax cut deal President Obama made with congressional Republicans.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 56% of Likely U.S. Voters favor the agreement that extends the Bush tax cuts for all Americans for two more years, cuts the Social Security payroll tax rate for one year and renews long-term unemployment benefits for an additional 13 months. Just 29% oppose the deal, but 15% are not sure about it. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Forty-nine percent (49%) of voters say the agreement will be good for the economy while just 28% disagree and think it will be bad for the economy. Nine percent (9%) say it will have no impact, and 14% more are not sure.

Seventy percent (70%) of Republicans and 51% of unaffiliated voters favor the tax cut agreement. A plurality of Democrats (48%) share that view but 38% of those in the president’s party are opposed.

These numbers show that the progressives are increasingly isolated on this question — and they’re split as well, almost equally between support (43%) and opposition (41%).  Continued vocal opposition to the compromise will weaken their standing with the voters, at least in the short run, and they’re not exactly dealing from strength after the midterm beating anyway.

Rasmussen conducted the poll over the last two days, when the debate was raging at its hottest on both sides.  Eighty-five percent of respondents had followed the coverage, and 56% followed it “very closely.”  The level of engagement in a post-election Christmas environment seems exceptional, especially on wonkish economic policies.

The poll will give Obama a little more ammunition for keeping recalcitrant Democrats in line during the vote.  However, it also underscores that the widespread perception is that Republicans won a big victory with this deal — a perception helped in large part by the President’s temper tantrum while announcing it.  Perhaps if Obama had bothered to sell the deal rather than whine about “hostage takers” and make his defeat obvious, he wouldn’t have to work so hard for his own party’s support now.