Washington, DC - These are findings from an Ipsos poll conducted for Reuters from March 3-6, 2011. For the survey, a nationally representative, randomly selected sample of exactly 1,040 adults aged 18 and older across the United States was interviewed by Ipsos via live telephone interviewing on landlines and cell phones.
Some key findings:
- By a margin of almost two to one, Americans prefer to cut existing programs (59%) rather than raise taxes (30%). When presented with the three options in our questions (defense spending, Medicare / Medicaid and Social Security), the majority (51%) choose defense spending, compared to Medicare/Medicaid (28%), and Social Security (18%).
- The public are equally divided when it comes to the Republicans' proposed budget cuts: 45% believe that the cuts are essential to balance the budget, while 48% feel the cuts of this size could cause job losses.
- A majority of the American public (58%) believe that a government shutdown would affect them 'some' or 'a lot', with over a third (36%) saying 'a lot'. Those most likely to think they will be affected are younger, less wealthy, more likely to be minorities, and more likely to be Democrats.
- The leader ratings show that all of these potential Republican candidates have work to do in terms of raising their profiles with the American public: Newt Gingrich has the best name recognition, with just 26% saying they 'don't know' when asked about him -- while Tim Pawlenty has the biggest challenge, with 59% saying they 'don't know' what they think of him (and that figure is 57% among Republicans!). Of this selection, the candidate with the most favorable rating is Mitt Romney at 36%.
- Obama's favorability ratings remain unchanged since the question was last asked in December, with 55% favorable and 42% unfavorable.
- The proportion of Americans believing that things are on the 'right track' has dropped 7 points since last month to 31%; 64% think things are off on the wrong track (up 7 points).
- Obama's job approval ratings have dropped 2 points from last month, but remain fairly steady overall and still represent an improvement on late-2010's ratings (49% approve / 47% disapprove). His approval rating among Independent voters, however, has dropped by 10 points, from 47% to 37%.
For more information on this news release please contact:
Managing Director, Public Sector Practice
Ipsos Public Affairs
Ipsos Public Affairs
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