While John Boehner is trying to afford President Obama the blame for the sequester, the House Speaker and his party own it. And now, Americans agree that blame for the sequester falls on Republican shoulders. According to a new poll released today by USA TODAY/Pew Research Center, “President Obama starts his second term with a clear upper hand over GOP leaders on issues from guns to immigration that are likely to dominate the year. On the legislation rated most urgent — cutting the budget deficit — even a majority of Republican voters endorse Obama’s approach of seeking tax hikes as well as spending cuts.” (my bold)
Steve Benen of Maddowblog created a chart:
Maddowblog reports, “A Bloomberg National Poll shows President Obama’s approval rating reaching a three-year high and public approval of Republicans reaching a three-year low. The same poll found that a plurality of Americans blame the Congressional GOP.”
An almost record low of just 22% of Americans consider themselves Republicans.
USA Today reports:
And those automatic spending cuts, known as the sequester, that are poised to take effect next week?
If no deal is reached to avert them, half of Americans say congressional Republicans will be more to blame. Less than a third would blame Obama first.
“On many of the issues, President Obama has staked out positions that seem to be closer to the public’s thinking than the positions Republicans have staked out,” says Michael Dimock, director of the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. The poll is the first in a new partnership between Pew and USA TODAY. “The challenge for him is in building the public’s sense of immediacy on some of these issues, particularly on climate change and guns.”
Republicans have the opposite challenge. “Their focus on the deficit is in tune with the public’s priorities right now,” he says. “Yet their positions are not quite in step with the kind of compromises that the public tells us they want to see.”
Even so, those surveyed say by narrow margins that Obama has a better approach than congressional Republicans for dealing with the deficit and guns. By double digits, they favor his plans on immigration and climate change, including limits on emissions from power plants.
The president’s overall job approval rating is 51%, a bit higher than it typically has been for the past three years. The approval rating for Republican congressional leaders is a dismal 25%. Democratic congressional leaders stand in-between, at 37%.
An astounding 76% majority say that there should be a combination of spending cuts and new revenue. Only 19% of the public — fewer than one in five — agrees with the Republicans cuts-only approach.
Please proceed, GOP….