TPM Crosstabs: The fiscal cliff reset

Kyle Leighton

So, the election’s over and it’s time for the victors to enjoy the spoils-- which in this case is heading off the crisis that would be caused by going over the fiscal cliff.

Determining the direction of the economy was the chief issue in the 2012 cycle, and dealing with debt and taxes was a major part of that. While the candidates both talked a lot about how they had plans to create jobs, one of the more specific proposals that the president touted during the campaign was his idea to let tax cuts expire on income over $250,000 a year, a measure that would generate $824 billion over the next 10 years in new revenue, and has been politically popular.

It seems the president won the argument, both in terms of the election and of who Americans would like to see take the reigns of policymaking in Washington.

A poll commissioned by the National Journal and conducted late last week showed that 50 percent of Americans trust President Obama and congressional Democrats to "deal effectively with the problems facing the country in the coming months,” while only 32 percent say they trust Republicans more.

It also seems the charge that Republicans in Congress have been obstructionist has stuck. While a new Pew poll showed that Americans are skeptical a deal will get done (after all, the Super Committee didn’t get one) it also showed that Americans are set to blame the GOP if one doesn’t happen. Fifty-three percent of Americans in the Pew poll said they’ll blame congressional Republicans if a deal isn’t made, while 29 percent would blame the president, and 10 percent would blame both.

The bottom line is this -- Americans’ views seem to be line when it comes to the transition from politics to policy. The numbers also suggest that when voters re-elected the president they also knew they gave him come political capital, and they want him to take the lead.