Americans Not Optimistic Obama Can Reduce Deficit

Majority in Gallup poll doubt he can make a dent


As negotiations proceed to find a budget agreement by year's end, Americans aren't optimistic President Barack Obama will be able to substantially reduce the federal deficit any time soon, according to a new poll.

A majority of Americans, 58 percent, express skepticism he can make much of a dent in the deficit, says a new Gallup survey. In addition, nearly two-thirds of Americans think Obama will not be able to heal the nation's political divisions in the next four years, while only 33 percent think he can. This is a drop in optimism from four years ago when 54 percent thought Obama would reduce the partisan rancor during his first term.