Which party gets hurt if we go off the cliff?

Voters’ predictions of how they will respond to an event are not always reliable. For that reason I have tended to discount polls that say far more will blame Republicans than Obama for going over the fiscal cliff. Another reason is that individuals are usually more popular than groups, especially Congress. Presidents almost always are more popular than “Republicans in Congress” or “Democrats in Congress.” The inclusion in the Hart/McInturff question of the “equally to blame” option and the fact that a solid majority embrace it suggest to me that going over the fiscal cliff may be more dangerous to Obama than has generally been assumed. Voters focus more on the president than they do on congressional leaders. It seems likely to me that both Obama and congressional leaders would suffer in public opinion if we go off the cliff. That’s what happened after the failure of the grand bargain talks in summer 2011.