Gotta love it when politicians use the 140-character limitations of Twitter to brag about public-opinion surveys that seem to show support for their position.
Consider the case of Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, who just tweeted: “Poll Shows 66% of Americans support plan like #cutcapbalance, 74% support Balanced Budget Amendment. http://ow.ly/5KkEz.” That link takes you to his website with the headline: “Poll Shows 66% of Americans Support Cut, Cap, Balance.”
Indeed, the CNN poll (which he was nice enough to link to Download Cnnpoll) shows strong support for a balanced-budget amendment. The rest of the poll, though, isn’t worth bragging about for Republicans.
Taken together, the results indicates President Obama is winning (but hasn't clearly won) the public-relations and policy-position war when it comes to tackling debt and deficits.
If the debt ceiling isn’t raised, 71 percent say it would be a problem, and 64 percent say it would have at least some affect on their personal finances
Obama, who has called for a mixed approach of spending cuts and tax increases, seems to be on the right side of public opinion with 64 percent saying they favor a blend of spending cuts and tax increases. Those who favor only spending cuts: 34 percent.
Obama appears to be winning the battle when it comes to who appears responsible.
About 52 percent say he has acted responsibly (an 8 percentage-point increase since May 1) while 46 percent say he has not (a 3 percentage-point decrease). That’s an 11 percentage-point shift in the president’s favor.
Meanwhile, Congress’ isn’t viewed so well, with 33 percent saying he acted responsibly while 63 percent saying it hasn’t.
If the debt ceiling isn’t raised, Republicans (who control only the House) would get a majority of the blame, with 51 percent saying it’s the fault of the GOP and 30 percent saying it’s Obama’s.
By big and overwhelming margins (when it comes to Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare) they overwhelmingly oppose most specific government cuts. The cut that generated the most support: Reducing defense spending (47% favor, 52% oppose).
People also favor increasing taxes by big margins when it comes to the petroleum industry (73% favor), businesses that own private jets (76% favor) and those who earn more than $250,000 annually (73%)
Wonder why Mike Lee didn’t tweet that?