Voters Prefer Republicans on Debt Crisis

The Republicans’ failure to win clearly the messaging battle over federal spending and debt is frustrating, but the latest poll data–significant because they come from likely voters–indicate that the GOP is coming out on top so far, albeit not by a wide margin.

Today’s Rasmussen Reports headlines, “Most Voters Are Unhappy With Both Sides in the Debt Ceiling Debate.” No surprise there–many people are much too quick to adopt a “plague on both their houses” attitude. But the disapproval isn’t equal:

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 58% of Likely U.S. Voters at least somewhat disapprove of the way President Obama and congressional Democrats are handling the debate over the debt ceiling, with 38% who Strongly Disapprove. But 53% also disapprove of how congressional Republicans are handling the debate, including 32% who Strongly Disapprove.

As often happens, the Republicans deserve to do better because most voters agree with their position. In a separate survey, Rasmussen finds that 62% of likely voters fear that a debt deal will raise taxes too much, while 56% worry that Congress and the President will cut spending too little in any such deal. This suggests that Republicans’ numbers have room for improvement as more voters understand the parties’ positions, especially in light of Harry Reid’s actions today.

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