Forty-five percent of Americans now say they favor reducing the federal budget deficit with an equal balance of tax increases and spending cuts, up from 32% last year. At the same time, the percentage favoring an emphasis on spending cuts is now 40%, down from 50% last year, while the percentage in favor of reducing the deficit primarily through tax increases is unchanged at 11%.

With 45% of Americans favoring an equal amount of spending cuts and tax increases, and another 11% favoring a greater emphasis on tax increases, the Nov. 9-12 USA Today/Gallup poll suggests that a majority of Americans, 56%, are now open to the idea of reducing the deficit equally or mostly with tax increases. In July 2011, 43% favored deficit reduction either equally or mostly through tax increases, and in May 48% did.

Overall, as was the case last year, most Americans — now 85% — are comfortable with achieving deficit reduction mostly (40%) or equally (45%) with spending cuts.