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February 28, 2013

Gallup: Americans split on whether sequester will harm personal finances

A new Gallup poll released Thursday found Americans divided about the impact of the automatic spending cuts due to take effect later this week.

44 percent said their personal finances would get worse, while 45 percent said they would not.

The survey, taken Feb. 25-26, also found Republicans are slightly more likely than Democrats to say the sequester should be allowed to happen, 40 percent vs. 34 percent.

A Gallup analysis explained, "Republicans are in fact divided over whether their member of Congress should let the budget sequestration go into effect as scheduled or vote for legislation to avert it (43 percent vs. 40 percent), whereas, by 47 percent to 34 percent, Democrats would rather avert it.

"In other words, Republicans -- who are paying significantly closer attention to the news about sequestration than Democrats -- are less eager than Democrats to prevent sequestration. At the same time, they are more concerned than Democrats that sequestration will have negative consequences for the economy this year and themselves personally," Gallup said.

The analysis saw many reasons for this divergence in Republicans' views.

"One possible explanation is that some Republicans may believe sequestration will cause short-term economic harm, but support it because they believe it will be beneficial in the long term," Gallup said. "Alternatively, Republicans may be more inclined than Democrats to ascribe negative results to cuts the federal government makes when the president is a Democrat. A third possibility: Republicans may legitimately believe the sequestration cuts would be harmful, but perceive that triggering sequestration will either force more responsible cuts to be enacted or cause more political harm to President Barack Obama than to the Republicans."

To read more: http://www.gallup.com/poll/160736/majority-says-sequestration-harm-economy.aspx


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"Planet Washington" covers politics and government. It is written by journalists in McClatchy's Washington Bureau.

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