The issue of the debt and the deficit – and what to do about it – has paralyzed Washington lawmakers. But when it comes to measures for reducing the deficit on which they might reach common ground, they will get little help in building support for an agreement by turning to public opinion.
In my years of polling, there has never been an issue such as the deficit on which there has been such a consensus among the public about its importance – and such a lack of agreement about acceptable solutions.
When the public was asked in March to volunteer the most important problem facing the nation, only unemployment and the economy were cited more often.
Read the full report, Debt and Deficit: A Public Opinion Dilemma, on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press' website.