WASHINGTON -- A majority of Americans -- 54% -- want Congress to delay automatic spending cuts set for March 1 so the economy will have more time to heal, according to a new poll.
Four in 10 respondents in the Bloomberg News poll said Congress must make steep budget cuts now to reduce the deficit before it gets out of control.
The poll's findings should provide a boost to the White House as it battles with congressional Republicans over how to avoid the looming spending cuts, known as sequestration.
Both sides want to avoid the indiscriminate, across-the-board cuts, but differ sharply on how to do that.
Obama has pushed to replace the automatic cuts -- $85 billion this year as part of $1.2 trillion over the next decade -- with targeted, phased-in cuts and increased revenue from the elimination of some corporate tax breaks.