In any political debate in Washington, both sides try to claim the side of public opinion. So, what is the public’s opinion of the debt ceiling the debate? They want a deal:
The public overwhelmingly favors a compromise in the debt ceiling standoff. And even as negotiations aimed at resolving the issue show little progress, a majority thinks that Barack Obama and congressional Republicans will reach a deal before the Aug. 2 deadline on a possible government default.
Fully 68% say that lawmakers who share their views on this issue should compromise, even it means striking a deal they disagree with. Just 23% say lawmakers who share their views should stand by their principles, even if that leads to default.
There is broader support for compromise today than on the eve of a possible government shutdown earlier this year. In early April, 55% favored a compromise even if that resulted in a budget deal they disagreed with, while 36% wanted their leaders to stand by their principles even if it led to a shutdown.
Large majorities of Democrats (81%) and independents (69%) favor a compromise to avoid default, but Republicans are more divided: 53% favor a compromise, while 38% say lawmakers who share their views should stand by their principles even if it leads to a default.