As Democrats and Republicans wrestle over spending and deficits in advance of an Aug. 2 deadline to raise the debt ceiling, most Americans want their political leaders to compromise rather stand their ground, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.
Strong majorities of Democrats and independents prefer that Democratic congressional leaders make compromises in this budget debate, while almost 70 percent of independents want Republican leaders to do the same. And nearly six in 10 favor President Barack Obama’s proposal to lower the federal deficit by $4 trillion over 10 years by cutting federal spending, raising tax revenue from the wealthy and reducing some Medicare spending.
By comparison, only about a third of respondents prefer the House Republican proposal to reduce the deficit by $2.5 trillion over 10 years through cutting spending alone and not raising additional revenues.
Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart, who conducted the survey with Republican pollster Bill McInturff, says the public’s message can be summed up in one phrase: “Compromise and get it done.”
“The public feels like this is a real problem that needs a real solution,” Hart explains. “And they want compromise by both parties.”
But there’s one hurdle to this compromise: A majority of Republicans – and nearly 70 percent of Tea Party supporters – want GOP leaders to hold their ground.