As the budget debate moves into a crucial phase, far fewer Americans say that Republicans in Congress have the better approach to the budget deficit than did so in November, shortly after the GOP’s sweeping election victories. The GOP has lost ground on the deficit among political independents and, surprisingly, among key elements of the Republican base, including Tea Party supporters.
However, the public is no more supportive of Barack Obama’s approach to the budget deficit than it was in November. Rather, there has been a sharp rise in the percentage saying there is not much difference between Obama’s approach and that of congressional Republicans – 52% say that now, up from just 33% in November.
The shift in opinion has been particularly dramatic among Republicans, Republican-leaning independents and Tea Party supporters. Shortly after the November election, 76% of Tea Party supporters said Republicans in Congress had a better approach to the budget deficit while just 16% said there was not much difference between their approach and Obama’s. Today, 52% of Tea Party supporters say the GOP has a better approach and 39% say there is not much difference in how the two sides approach the deficit.
Read the full report Republicans Are Losing Ground on the Deficit, But Obama's Not Gaining on the Pew Center for the People & the Press' Web site.