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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

New Gallup Poll: Dems Solid with Public on Deficit, Taxes

According to a just-released Gallup Poll conducted 7/7-10, an overwhelming majority of Americans favor a mix of spending cuts and tax increases to address the deficit, contrary to the Republicans refusal to consider any tax hikes whatsoever.
As Nate Silver explains it in his Five Thirty Eight blog:

Few Americans, however, take the view that spending cuts alone should be made in a deal, with no tax increases at all. In fact, only 26 percent of the Republican voters surveyed in Gallup’s poll took that position, along with 20 percent of voters overall.
We can also use the Gallup poll to tease out what mix of tax increases and spending cuts the public would like to see in a deal. Assume that the people who told Gallup that they wanted “mostly” cuts would prefer a 3-to-1 ratio of spending reductions to tax increases, and that those who said they wanted mostly tax increases would prefer a 3-to-1 ratio in the opposite direction. (The other choices that Gallup provided in the poll — an equal mix of tax increases and spending cuts or a deal that consisted entirely of one or the other — are straightforward to interpret.)
The average Republican voter, based on this data, wants a mix of 26 percent tax increases to 74 percent spending cuts. The average independent voter prefers a 34-to-66 mix, while the average Democratic voter wants a 46-to-54 mix…

But the no-tax position of the House Republicans is absurdly out of step, not only with the public, but with Republican voters in particular. As Silver notes,

Consider that, according to the Gallup poll, Republican voters want the deal to consist of 26 percent tax increases, and Democratic voters 46 percent — a gap of 20 percentage points. If Republicans in the House insist upon zero tax increases, there is a larger ideological gap between House Republicans and Republican voters than there is between Republican voters and Democratic ones.

Noting the the House Republicans seem wedded to their no-tax pledge, regardless of public opinion, Silver concludes of the debt ceiling negotiations, “…Democrats have little reason to capitulate either: they are on the right side of public opinion.”

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