A new poll suggests President Barack Obama has strong leverage over "fiscal cliff" negotiations because the public continues to support raising taxes on the nation's top earners.
Sixty percent of registered voters in a new Politico/George Washington University poll said they support increasing taxes on households earning more than $250,000.
Raising taxes on high-income earners is how Obama's administration wishes to generate revenue in its deficit deal to avoid the automatic spending cuts and tax increases set to go into effect Jan. 1. The majority of Republicans in Congress remain staunchly opposed.
One wrinkle for the president, however, was evident in the poll. Sixty-nine percent of respondents oppose raising taxes on small businesses that earn more than $250,000. The potentially negative effect increased taxes would have on small businesses is an argument the Republican Party has made against raising them on high earners.
The poll also showed strong support for other initiatives many Democrats hope will pass, including the legalization of gay marriage and a path to citizenship for children of illegal immigrants.
Forty percent of poll respondents said same-sex couples should be allowed to get legally married, and another 30 percent support civil unions. Twenty-four percent of those surveyed rejected legalizing gay unions.
Seventy-seven percent of respondents said they back the current plan for citizenship for children of illegal immigrants, known as the DREAM Act; 59 percent indicated strong support for the act and 18 percent indicated support for it.
The poll, conducted by the Tarrance Group and Lake Research Partners Dec. 2-6, had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points