Poll shows public split on debt ceiling

Neil Munro White House Correspondent
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An overnight poll conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs finds Americans increasingly concerned about the debt ceiling and closely divided on the question of whether the GOP or the White House needs to give way.

The poll was conducted after President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner made televised comments Monday night about the debt ceiling.

The poll found 29 percent believe Republicans are the ones who need to “give the most ground,” according to an Ipsos statement. Another 25 percent were more sympathetic to Republicans in the debt-ceiling debate and said that President Barack Obama should give ground.

Among the respondents who wanted to see both sides give ground, 49 percent leaned toward spending cuts and 43 percent favor tax increases, read the report.

The poll also showed that 31 percent placed the most blame on Republican lawmakers, 21 percent on Obama, 9 percent on Democratic legislators and 24 percent blame “all three” equally.

Public concern about the dispute has grown quickly.

Of the 600 respondents, 54 percent say they are “very” concerned, while 29 percent say they are only “somewhat” concerned. (RELATED: Obama threatens veto on Boehner’s debt limit plan)

However, independents are the least worried. Only 76 percent said they are concerned.

The poll was conducted by phone and in both English and Spanish.

The respondents views were shaped by TV, friends, Internet sites, said Ipsos director Julia Clark. Although respondents sometimes tell pollsters what they wish were true, rather than what they believe to be true, this poll was “as much of a cold-calculation [of reality] as we can ask a generally uninformed public,” she said.

This was a poll of Americans, many of whom have little interest in politics and will not vote. Other polling groups are expected to soon provide additional data from more useful groups, such as registered voters and likely voters.