Pollwatch: Comparing the Polls on Spending and the Deficit

A number of recent surveys have attempted to gauge whether deficit concerns are eroding support for government spending to stimulate the economy, but the findings of these efforts are mixed. There is little doubt that Americans are worried about the deficit, but not surprisingly with such a complex issue, the way questions are worded clearly impacts how the public views the debate.

The latest survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press finds the public evenly divided over whether deficit reduction or stimulus spending is the higher priority for the government right now. Among 1,005 adults interviewed over landline and cell phones June 18-21, 48% place a higher priority on "spending more to help the economy recover" while 46% prioritize "reducing the budget deficit."

Two other recent national polls, which gave arguments on both sides of the issue, found the public giving greater priority to deficit reduction than to stimulating the economy. Both the CBS/New York Times and NBC/Wall Street Journal surveys, released last week, made efforts to explain the pros and cons of stimulus spending and deficit reduction, and both found majorities supporting the latter option.

Read the complete findings Pollwatch: Comparing the Polls on Spending and the Deficit on the Pew Research Center's Web site.

Spotlight on Mental Health

Composite image of modern city network communication concept

Learn the Basics of Broadband from Our Limited Series

Sign up for our four-week email course on Broadband Basics

Quick View

How does broadband internet reach our homes, phones, and tablets? What kind of infrastructure connects us all together? What are the major barriers to broadband access for American communities?

Pills illustration
Pills illustration

What Is Antibiotic Resistance—and How Can We Fight It?

Sign up for our four-week email series The Race Against Resistance.

Quick View

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria, also known as “superbugs,” are a major threat to modern medicine. But how does resistance work, and what can we do to slow the spread? Read personal stories, expert accounts, and more for the answers to those questions in our four-week email series: Slowing Superbugs.

Explore Pew’s new and improved
Fiscal 50 interactive

Your state's stats are more accessible than ever with our new and improved Fiscal 50 interactive:

  • Maps, trends, and customizable charts
  • 50-state rankings
  • Analysis of what it all means
  • Shareable graphics and downloadable data
  • Proven fiscal policy strategies


Welcome to the new Fiscal 50

Key changes include:

  • State pages that help you keep track of trends in your home state and provide national and regional context.
  • Interactive indicator pages with highly customizable and shareable data visualizations.
  • A Budget Threads feature that offers Pew’s read on the latest state fiscal news.

Learn more about the new and improved Fiscal 50.