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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

TDS Co-Editor Ruy Teixeira: GOP Ideologues Head South in Public Opinion

More and more, it appears that Republicans are experiencing a severe bout of overconfidence regarding their intransigence in the debt ceiling negotiations, as TDS Co-editor Ruy Teixeira explains in his current ‘Public Opinion Snapshot’:

Here’s one of the reasons why: 53 percent of respondents in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll said that President Barack Obama cares more about the economic interests of the middle class, while just 35 percent thought that was true of the Republicans in Congress. In contrast, 67 percent thought Republicans in Congress cared more about the interests of large business corporations, compared to 24 percent who thought that of President Obama.

Teixeira adds, “…Conservative intransigence is starting to seem less a matter of principle than an expression of whose side they’re on.” In terms of what should be done, the public has little sympathy for the GOP position:

Reflecting these attitudes, the public believes Republicans should compromise on raising taxes in a debt ceiling deal. Sixty-two percent think they should give in and accept tax rises on the rich, while only 27 percent think they shouldn’t give in. But the public doesn’t believe Democrats should give in on cutting Social Security and Medicare, programs that are hugely important to middle-class economic security. By 52-38 the public believes Democrats should not agree to such cuts even if it’s the “only way” to get a debt ceiling deal.

The Republicans seem to think playing chicken in the debt ceiling negotiations is helping their image. But the latest opinion data indicates that their strategy is starting to look more like a very big turkey.

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