Obama voters spilt over how to cut deficit, finds poll
Voters who gave President Barack Obama a second term are split over how to reduce the deficit, according to a new poll.
A survey of 800 Obama voters, conducted last month by Benenson Strategy Group for the moderate Democratic think tank Third Way, found that 96 percent believe the federal deficit is a problem, and 85 percent support increasing taxes on the wealthy.
The poll found that despite 41 percent, who supported the Democratic incumbent, want to get control of the deficit mostly by cutting spending, with only some tax increases.
It found that another 41 percent want to solve it mostly with tax increases and only some spending cuts, Politico reports.
According to the poll, just five percent of Obama supporters favor tax increases alone to solve the deficit, half the number who back an approach that relies entirely on spending cuts.
"News flash: Paul Krugman," said Lanae Erickson Hatalsky, director of Third Way's social policy and politics program, firing a rhetorical shot at the liberal Princeton economist who uses his New York Times column to agitate for more federal spending.
"They want him to take on and solve the big issues, but they want him to do it in a pragmatic way and they trust him to compromise," added Hatalsky, who has written a memo analyzing the results.
"He won not because he appealed to the ideological wings, but because he wooed voters in the middle," he said.
The poll found that 8 in 10 Obama supporters feel strongly that both Democrats and Republicans "need to make real compromises to come to an agreement on fixing the deficit," the report said.
According to the report, two in three believe it is "immoral" to leave future generations with USD 16 trillion in debt. Three in four agree that reducing the deficit will help grow the economy.
Yet a plurality of 40 percent said they are more concerned that Obama will agree to a deficit deal that cuts too much spending compared with 31 percent who worry the president will not do enough to reduce the deficit, the report added.