Although about a quarter of both Republicans and Democrats say it would be best for the country if the other side compromised more, two-thirds of both groups say both sides should compromise equally. In short, rank-and-file Republicans and Democrats across the country are to a significant degree willing to forfeit philosophical purity in order to avoid the fiscal cliff.

In contrast, Americans have quite mixed views regarding how likely it is that both sides will comprise. About a quarter predict that both sides will compromise equally, while 34% say neither side will compromise, with the rest about evenly split between saying Republicans or Democrats will compromise more.