It’s not just Congress that is divided over the debt ceiling. So are most Americans.
The Pew Research Center’s latest poll indicates that 44% of Americans say that the House should give ground on their demand that ObamaCare be postponed for a year, while 42% think Obama should.
This is within the bounds of polling error.
So, this leads to a political conclusion. Each side is likely to appeal to its voter base. What does this tell us? Among Democrats, 58% do not want Obama to back down. Among Republicans, 54% think that the House should not back down. So, if both sides do what their supporters recommend, there will be no resolution.
Next, what about hard-core swing voters within the camp of the party faithful? Tea Party Republicans are hard core. A very high 88% say the House should not back down. Among non-Tea Party Republicans, 63% think Obama should make compromises, but only 39% say it would be unacceptable for the House to drop such a demand.
There is broad support for a compromise. But there is no agreement on the nature of the compromise.
About 38% blame the Republicans more than Obama. About 30% blame Obama more than Republicans. About 20% say blame is equally divided.
What about outright disapproval? About 69% disapprove of the House Republicans, 58% disapprove of Senate Democrats, and half disapprove of Obama. In short, most people disapprove.
Less than half of those polled say that it is essential that the debt ceiling be raised: 47%. About 39% say they are skeptical about this need.
So, the deadlock reflects the opinion of the public. Until it is clear who will be the political losers in November 2014, the standoff is likely to continue.
There will be additional polls on this matter.