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CBS News Poll Budget 042111

CBS News Poll Budget 042111

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Published by cbsnews
CBS News poll on President Obama, Congress, the budget and Medicare, April 21, 2011
CBS News poll on President Obama, Congress, the budget and Medicare, April 21, 2011

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Published by: cbsnews on Apr 21, 2011
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05/12/2014

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 CBS NEWS/NEW YORK TIMES POLLFor release: Thursday, April 21, 20116:30pm (EDT)The President, Congress and Deficit Battles
April 15-20, 2011
With the possibility of more spending showdowns between President Obama andCongressional Republicans ahead, Americans disapprove of how both are handling thedeficit.
Most Americans don’t think either Barack Obama or the Republicans in Congress sharetheir priorities for the nation, and they are divided over whether deficit-cutting helpscreate jobs.
In the wake of the recent threat of a government shutdown and continued pessimismabout the economy, the President’s approval rating has slipped – now, 46% approve and45% disapprove, while disapproval of Congress, at 75%, is approaching record highs.
Looking ahead to the next battle, nearly two-thirds of Americans – 63% - oppose theidea of raising the debt limit (often called the “debt ceiling”). On this, most partisans findsome agreement.
On other looming fights – over Medicare spending, especially – deep partisan and agedivisions emerge. Most younger Americans are willing to see Medicare spending cut, butmost seniors are not.
The President and Congress
President Obama’s approval rating is down slightly from March, and Americans are now mixedon how he is handling his job: 46% approve, and 45% disapprove.
Barack Obama’s Overall Job Rating
Now 3/2011 1/2011 10/2010 9/2010Approve 46% 49% 49% 44% 45%Disapprove 45 41 39 45 47While Democrats continue to support him in large numbers, the President’s disapproval ratingamong Republicans and independents has risen somewhat.
Barack Obama’s Overall Job Rating
(By Party)Republicans Democrats IndependentsNow 3/2011 Now 3/2011 Now 3/2011Approve 9% 18% 79% 78% 43% 46%Disapprove 85 76 16 14 45 39
 
Approval of President Obama’s handling of the economy and the budget deficit remain low,while approval of how he’s handling foreign policy – particularly Libya – has dropped markedly.Now 39% approve of his handling of Libya – down from 50%. The March poll was conducted just after air strikes in Libya by the U.S. and other countries began.
Barack Obama’s Approval Ratings on…
Now 3/2011Foreign policy 39% 47%Libya 39% 50%The economy 38% 39%The budget deficit 33% 31%But Congress fares much worse (as is historically the case). Just 16% of Americans approve ofthe job Congress is doing, while three in four Americans disapprove. Disapproval of Congress,now 75%, is just below the record high that was reached in May, 2010.
Congress’ Job Rating
Now 3/2011 5/2010 8/2008Approve 16% 21% 15% 12%Disapprove 75 66 77 7470% of Americans now think the country is off on the wrong track, the highest percentage sinceBarack Obama first took office. Just 26% of Americans think the country is going in the rightdirection
Direction of the Country
Now 3/2011 4/2010 4/2009 10/2008Right direction 26% 30% 34% 41% 7%Wrong track 70 64 59 50 89
Policy and Budget Choices: The Debt Ceiling, Medicare, and Partisanship
Americans overwhelmingly oppose the idea of raising the debt limit (often called the “debtceiling”). On this, most partisans find some agreement. Tea Party backers and Republicansvoice the strongest opposition.
Raise the Debt Limit?
All Reps Dems Inds Tea PartySupport 27% 14% 36% 27% 12%Oppose 63 83 48 64 82Seven in ten who oppose the raise still oppose it even if that means interest rates would go up.Spending discussions in Washington have also turned to programs like Medicare – an issue onwhich partisan and age differences run deep.Americans overall say the Medicare program is worth the cost to taxpayers. Three in fourDemocrats think the program is worth it, but that drops to 45% of Republicans, while 44% of
 
Republicans say it is not. A similar percentage of Tea Party supporters think it is not worth thecost.
Is the Medicare Program Worth the Costs?
All Reps Dems Inds Tea PartyYes 61% 45% 78% 57% 41%No 29 44 14 33 46Overall, a majority of Americans thinks government has the responsibility to provide health carecoverage for the elderly, and most also say the same for the poor.
Does Government Have Responsibility to Provide Health Coverage to…
Yes NoThe elderly 76% 22The poor 56% 38But Republicans are far less likely than Democrats and independents to view health care for theelderly or the poor as a government responsibility. Tea Party supporters are even less likely todo so.
Partisan Views on Government Providing Health Coverage…
Reps Dems Inds Tea PartyHas responsibility for elderly 55% 88% 79% 47%Does not have responsibility for elderly 40 11 19 48Has responsibility for poor 25% 73% 61% 18%Does not have responsibility for poor 71 21 32 78Given the choice to cut government spending on either Medicare, Social Security or the military,most Americans would prefer to leave Medicare alone – only 21% would cut it, while 45% wouldcut defense first. 17% would trim Social Security.
Which Big-Ticket Govt. Spending Item Would You Prefer to Cut?
Military 45%Medicare 21Social Security 17That doesn’t mean, however, Americans think Medicare will go untouched in future rounds ofdeficit-cutting. Most Americans – 57% - think it will be necessary to make changes in theprogram in order to lower the federal deficit.If Medicare does have to be cut, 48% of Americans are willing to go along. But there are bigdifferences by age group, and willingness to make cuts in Medicare declines as Americans getolder.
Willing to See Medicare Spending Cut?
All 18-29 30-44 45-64 65+Yes 48% 57% 48% 47% 37%No 45 38 42 48 56

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