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Poll: GOP Voters More Worried on Deficit

By Jonathan Cohen
Deep public worry about the federal budget deficit has jumped since December, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, upping the ante on the White House's fiscal responsibility summit that kicks off later this morning.

Among those adults aged 40 and up, almost all express concern, and 68 percent are "very concerned," while those under 40 are decidedly less worried (45 percent very concerned; it's 38 percent those aged 18 to 29).

However, sentiment about the government's account imbalance has political as well as generational and economic roots: The entire rise in concern about the deficit over the past two months has been among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents.

Overall, 59 percent of Americans are now "very concerned" about the size of the federal budget deficit, 10 percentage points higher than in a Post-ABC poll in mid-December. Among Democrats, though, top level concern has slipped four points, despite the billions in new governmental outlays passed by the new Democratic president and the Democratically-controlled Congress.

By contrast, 74 percent of Republicans in the new poll expressed grave worry about the deficit, 29 points higher than in December when George W. Bush held the reins.

Sixty-one percent of independents are very concerned about the deficit, up 12 points from December, with the increase almost entirely among those who said they tend to side with the GOP.

More from this Post-ABC poll will be released this evening at 5 p.m. It was conducted Feb. 19 through 22 among a national random sample of 1,001 adults interviewed on landline or mobile telephones.

By Washington Post Editor  |  February 23, 2009; 7:08 AM ET
Categories:  The Pollster  
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Next: On Budget, a Split Personality for Obama

Comments

I have been concerned about the budget deficits since the Regean Tax Cuts in the 1980s. Our total debt from George Washington to Jimmy Carter (200 years) accumulated to $900.8 billion. By the time Regean left office (8 years), our total debt was over $3 trillion. Guess what? No one seem to care then. Where were the Conservatives then? They were enjoying the tax cuts. People, both tax cuts and spending have negative impacts on the budget deficit. The only solution the Republican have now is... You got it. More tax cuts.

Posted by: melvinbraziel | February 23, 2009 6:54 PM | Report abuse

If you watch Hannity , the world is in a meltdown and we've been taken over by the ghost of Stalin so it doesn't surprise me that Repubs are more worried about the deficit.


But what is with this new found religion?, did they just find Jesus?

Posted by: JRM2 | February 23, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

For the record, I've believed in "The Buck Stops Here" ever since I voted for Harry S Truman!

Posted by: JakeD | February 23, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

JRM2:

But Obama's just got started -- the Republican Congress and George Bush spent more over SIX YEARS so if Obama keeps going, he will pass that record in no time -- the fact remains that no one has spent more their first two months in office ; )

Posted by: JakeD | February 23, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

"Obama's spending is the highest in the history of the world!
Posted by: mascmen7 | February 23, 2009 12:15 PM"
-------------
The Republican congress and George Bush spent more than any previous administration in the history of the United States while cutting taxes for the rich and running up a higher deficit than all previous Presidents combined. Nearly every economist in the world agrees that we need a sizable stimulus and that is why Obama has had to spend large sums of money to try to fix this economic morass we are in. At least this money will be going to help main street rather than "rebuild" Iraq.

Posted by: JRM2 | February 23, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

"The Buck Stops Here"

Posted by: JakeD |
-------
JakeD's new-found religion.

Posted by: JRM2 | February 23, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Obama's spending is the highest in the history of the world! The Blessed Virgin Mary at Bayside, NY stated 9/7/85 that our government will cause a MONETARY COLLAPSE that will start a DEPRESSION IN NORTH AMERICA that will creep all over the world. We got change that will make dollar worthless so that food will be hard to get as farmers will become bankrupt. Stock up on canned goods now and replace them within 2 years to avoid spoilage.

Posted by: mascmen7 | February 23, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

The GOP folks, who are taking their cues from THUG RADIO, are a little late to be concerned about the deficit.
With eight years to get it right, they got it wrong, all wrong. Suddenly, they are concerned about leaving debt to our children. This is election night conversion, pure and simple, especially when one loses. They had no such concern when they needlessly dumped a trillion tax dollars into that black hole in Iraq from which no one can escape except our allies. They, the GOP, have so fouled things up, foreign and domestic, that we are now fighting a third war, which is economic. When it comes to fighting a war, one can’t afford to be governed by, what might be, years from now. One has to do what’s necessary to save the country today. If that is done successfully, then next year and those following will take care of themselves because there will still be a country left to run. The GOP doesn’t have any credibility about anything, having run the ship of state aground. The best thing they can do now is let those, who have new ideas, try and unscrew this GOP laden mess.

Posted by: vmonroe_valnesio | February 23, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

The only thing this poll reflects is how much air time Rush Limbaugh has given to the deficit over the last month or two. It documents the bending of the ditto head reeds before the mighty winds of his bloviation.

Posted by: nodebris | February 23, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

"The Buck Stops Here"

Posted by: JakeD | February 23, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

GOP voters loved it for eight years while Bush created a $10 trillion deficit. NOW, they're worried about overspending? Hah! The house has burned to the ground but now they're worried about a spark?
The "Great George W. Bush Recession" is worsened because Bush and his Republican friends doubled the deficit to over $10 trillion. Now, they want to pretend they care about deficit spending. Doesn't pass the sniff test.
Republicans are actually BRAGGING that they want President Obama to fail. You know that his job is to return prosperity and peace to all Americans. The GOP wants America to fail. Why? Purely for Republicans' own political benefit. The two year election is over. We said yes to Mr. Obama. Republicans have decided to say "NO" to Ameica's successful future with the hope that by making things worse they can get back into power.
They were in power the last eight years, and look what happened: Bush LOST two wars: He failed to kill Bin Laden in Afghanistan; in Iraq there are two new enemies that weren't there before the invasion, Iran and Quieda, neither of which would have dared go there when Saddam was in charge. Because of Bush and Cheney, America is LESS safe than before 9/11.
Despite hefty tax and other government revenues Bush and friends spent $5 trillion MORE than they took in. We don't need any advice from those who gut us into this mess.

Posted by: skeetchamp | February 23, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

The republican voters was not worried the last 7 years when Halliburton and Blackwater was ripping us off for millions of dollars. Again they was not worried when we handed the bankers and insurance companies 700 billion dollars and Bush said we will trust them to do the right thing which they did not. They was not worried when the top 5 percent got millions in tax breaks and did not hire anyone except illegal alliens. {NOW THEY ARE WORRIED} BULL SH!!

Posted by: SWAMPYPD | February 23, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

If they tried dumping cash in to the Pacific Ocean, no one should question that either? If you want to disregard 60 million voters (not all are Republicans), that's fine by me.

Posted by: JakeD | February 23, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Who cares about "republican" voters. They cling to the past, and can only offer the same hackneyed ways to get us out of the mess we are in. I don't feel the "stimulus" is the best way, nor do I feel that reducing taxes for businesses is the way either. But at least the Dems are trying something new.....

Posted by: woodard3 | February 23, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

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