Reporting from Washington — Public opinion is roughly split on whether Republicans or Democrats have best handled federal budget negotiations, according to a poll released Thursday, as members faced criticism in their districts over the extent of proposed spending cuts.
Gallup released results of a one-day survey conducted this week that showed 42% of Americans polled backed congressional Republicans' efforts on a new federal spending plan, while 39% supported President Obama and the Democrats — a statistical dead heat.
Sixty percent of those surveyed hope lawmakers will agree to a compromise that would avoid a government shutdown, but one-third want their party to hold out for their plan; Republicans were more likely than Democrats to prefer their party holds out.
The survey also found that respondents were more likely to say the Democratic plan does not go far enough in cutting spending. Republicans highlighted that result Thursday amid a rhetorical battle largely between the House GOP and Senate Democrats over negotiations on a measure to fund government operations beyond March 4, when the current spending plan expires.