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Majority of indies, non-Tea Party Republicans oppose debt limit increase

Tea Party conservatives may be the most vocal group arguing that Congress should NOT vote to raise the debt ceiling, but they’re far from alone in the American electorate.

As some of us wrote in First Read this morning, the latest NBC/WSJ poll shows that raising the debt ceiling could prove a very heavy political lift for lawmakers this summer.

Even after the arguments for (avoiding a default on the government’s current debt payments) and against (failing to exercise fiscal responsibility) were outlined to the poll’s respondents, two-thirds of voters replied that the debt ceiling should NOT be raised.

While those dissenters included over eight in 10 self-identified Tea party supporters, a majority of Republicans who do NOT affiliate with the Tea Party also argued that the debt limit should not be increased.

Of GOP voters who do not identify as Tea Party backers, only 28 percent said that the debt ceiling should be raised, with 68 percent saying that they oppose lifting the limit even if it means that the government will not be able to pay its bills.

That split is mirrored among independent voters. Just 24 percent of self-identified independents believe the cap on government debt should be adjusted upwards, with 71 percent balking at that idea.  

Even Democrats are about evenly divided on the issue, with 49 percent supporting raising the debt ceiling and 45 percent opposing.