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Washington Post/ABC poll: Don’t tie the debt limit to spending cuts

By 58-36, public says don’t hold the debt limit hostage

I’m not sure how much I trust a novel poll question with this many moving parts, but the latest Washington Post/ABC Poll attempts to ask the public how it feels about the Republican strategy of refusing to raise the debt ceiling unless President Obama and the Democrats agree to major spending cuts. If you do trust the question, it came out badly for the Repub strategy.

Here’s the question the poll asked:

If Congress does not raise its borrowing limit in February, the federal government will have to default on its loans and/or shut down some of its operations. Some people say the borrowing limit should be raised only if spending cuts also are put in place. Others say the two issues should be kept separate. Do you think raising the borrowing limit should be tied to spending cuts, or should these be kept as separate issues?

And here’s how the responses came in:

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Should be kept as separate issues: 58 percent

Should be tied to spending cuts: 36.

No opinion: 6

The poll respondents also said by 49-35 percent that they trust Obama on the issue more than they trust the Republican leadership in Congress. Obama’s approval rating in the poll came in at 55 percent, the highest since late 2009 with the exception of a brief spike immediately after the death of Osama bin Laden. The approval rating of Congress came in at 19 percent, which is tied for the lowest of any Congress just coming into session since 1975.