MEMORANDUM DATE: TO: FROM: RE: JANUARY 17, 2013 PUBLIC NOTICE THE TARRANCE GROUP KEY FINDINGS FROM NATIONAL SURVEY

This survey was conducted January 13-16, 2013 among N=805 registered “likely” voters nationwide. The margin of error is +/- 3.5%. All interviews were conducted over the telephone, with 25% via cell phone. FEDERAL SPENDING & NATIONAL DEBT With 2013 starting with news of the fiscal cliff and now continuing with the upcoming debt limit and budget debates, new survey data shows voters are focused on and concerned about these fiscal issues. Particularly, voters are concerned about the high level of government spending and the federal debt. This survey asked about government spending in several ways, and the results show voters believe spending is too high and is causing harm to the economy and themselves personally: o 74% say the amount of money the federal government spends is too high, while 4% say it is too low and 18% say it is about right. 74% disagree and 22% agree with President Obama’s statement that “We don’t have a spending problem.” In fact, 56% say it is extremely or very important that President Obama call for specific spending cuts in his upcoming Inaugural address. 79% say the bigger problem with the economy is that government spends too much, while just 14% say the bigger problem is taxes are too low. 76% agree with the statement “Unless our leaders in Washington address the nation’s spending problem, the economy will never improve.” Between lowering the debt and deficit or not cutting spending on government programs, 64% opt to lower the debt and deficit. Just 28% would rather not cut spending on programs.

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 Voters say the federal debt has a negative impact on them personally (61%), while 27% say it has no impact and 9% see a positive impact from the debt. Among the groups feeling this negative impact are 18-34 year olds (59%), families with children (69%), and women (57%).  On the drivers of the debt, a majority agree (54%) that defense spending is a major cause of the debt and deficit problem. When it comes to dealing with the debt, a majority (64%) are not willing to pay more in taxes as a way to lower the debt and deficit. Just 34% are willing to pay more.

LOOKING BACK: FISCAL CLIFF DEAL  Voters have mixed views on the fiscal cliff deal. While 52% support and 37% oppose it, a separate question reveals 49% believe the deal will hurt their family’s financial situation. Just 31% believe it will help their family.  When asked specifically how they feel about the lack of spending cuts in the deal, a majority (75%) oppose and 20% favor this. Additionally, 81% oppose that the deal included tax breaks for some special interest groups.  When it comes to the tax increases from the fiscal cliff deal, a majority (51%) believe this new revenue will be used to fund new government spending, rather than go to paying down the debt (39%). OVERALL VIEWS OF THE COUNTRY/ECONOMY  Pessimism remains high among voters when it comes to the country overall and the economy specifically. A majority (57%) say things in the country are on the wrong track, and just 37% say things are moving in the right direction. On the economy specifically, just 27% say it is getting better. A plurality (39%) believe the economy is getting worse, and one third (33%) say it is staying the same.  Voters also distrust the government’s ability to handle money. A majority (52%) would trust Oprah Winfrey over the federal government (22%) to set and manage their family’s budget.  With this pessimistic view of the economy, it is no surprise that fiscal issues drive voter concerns. They are equally concerned with the overall economy and jobs (29%) and government spending and the federal deficit (29%). Education comes in third at 11%.  Blame is not fully on President Obama - half (50%) approve and 46% disapprove of his job performance.

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