Reason-Rupe Surveys

Few Happy with Debt Ceiling Compromise

Democrats More Pleased with Debt Ceiling Compromise Than Independents and Republicans


Overall, more Americans disapprove of the debt ceiling agreement than approve, with 46% disapprove and 39% approve, according to the latest USA Today/Gallup poll.

For weeks Congress and the White House have tensely negotiated raising the national borrowing limit before the Treasury's August 2nd deadline. Many opined about the lack of compromise during the debate. Interestingly a Washington Post/ABC News poll conducted July 14-17th found that Americans believed Republicans were less willing to compromise than Obama on the budget deficit. In fact 77% of Americans believed that the Republican Party was not willing enough to compromise whereas only 58% of Americans believed that President Obama was not wiling enough to compromise.

However, now that a compromise has been reached, the latest USA Today/Gallup poll finds that majorities of Democrats and liberals support the recent debt ceiling agreement; whereas, majorities of Republicans, Independents, and conservatives oppose it. 58% of Democrats and 51% of liberals said they approved of the agreement reached by the president and Congress to raise the federal debt ceiling, as did 48% of moderates. However 33% of Independents, 26% of Republicans, and 25% of conservatives agreed.

This could mean several things; one, the debt ceiling agreement tilted in favor of the Democrats. It could also mean that Democrats are more likely to be appeased by a compromise in general. However, the majority of Independents who also disapprove of the debt ceiling agreement casts doubt on the later explanation.

Most Americans agree, however, that the debt ceiling agreement is neither a step forward or backward in terms of addressing the federal debt situation. Meaning, they think it probably does nothing to substantively deal with the national debt. Only 17% believe that the compromise will improve the economy compared to the plurality (41%) who believe it will make the economy worse.

Next, I'd like to ask you about the agreement reached by the president and Congress to raise the federal debt ceiling. Based on what you know or have rad about this agreement, do you approve or disapprove of it?