Voters Prefer Debt-Ceiling Hike Tied to Spending Cuts

by Daniel Foster

Here’s a poll on the debt ceiling from the right-leaning Resurgent Republic that offers respondents three alternative scenarios. The results are encouraging:

President Obama’s policy of raising the federal debt limit without any preconditions relating to limiting spending, i.e. a “clean debt limit,” is supported by only one-out-of-ten voters, the least popular option of three presented in a Resurgent Republic survey conducted jointly with the American Action Forum.

The second-ranking option overall is “not raising the debt limit under any circumstances.” That option places second among Independents and Democrats, and is the top preference for Republicans.

The preferred option, drawing support from a plurality of voters overall, is “raising the debt limit, but only in exchange for substantial spending cuts and a commitment to reduce the deficit.” The days of “routine” debt limit increase votes may be history, with voters holding firm views about the debt ceiling vote in a time of concern over the economy and a pervasive view that “we have got to stop spending money we don’t have,” as has been seen in previous Resurgent Republic polling.

Forty-seven percent of respondents overall — including 49 percent of Democrats, 43 percent of Republicans, and 49 percent of Independents — want to raise the roof only in exchange for spending cuts. Even better, the split between those who don’t want any increase at all, and those who want a no-strings-attached increase (35 percent versus 11 percent, respectively) puts the weight in the tug-o-war firmly on the side of the conservatives.

Full results here.

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