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Behind the Numbers
Posted at 07:00 AM ET, 02/23/2009

Deficit Concern Jumps ... Among the GOP

Deep public worry about the federal budget deficit has jumped since December, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, upping the ante on the White House's fiscal responsibility summit that kicks off later this morning.

Among those adults aged 40 and up, almost all express concern, and 68 percent are "very concerned," while those under 40 are decidedly less worried (45 percent very concerned; it's 38 percent those aged 18 to 29).

However, sentiment about the government's account imbalance has political as well as generational and economic roots: The entire rise in concern about the deficit over the past two months has been among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents.

Overall, 59 percent of Americans are now "very concerned" about the size of the federal budget deficit, 10 percentage points higher than in a Post-ABC poll in mid-December. Among Democrats, though, top level concern has slipped four points, despite the billions in new governmental outlays passed by the new Democratic president and the Democratically-controlled Congress.

By contrast, 74 percent of Republicans in the new poll expressed grave worry about the deficit, 29 points higher than in December when George W. Bush held the reins.

Sixty-one percent of independents are very concerned about the deficit, up 12 points from December, with the increase almost entirely among those who said they tend to side with the GOP.

More from this Post-ABC poll will be released this evening at 5 p.m. It was conducted Feb. 19 through 22 among a national random sample of 1,001 adults interviewed on landline or mobile telephones.

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How concerned, if at all, are you about the size of the federal budget deficit? (% saying "very concerned")

Among Democrats

Republican Party

By  |  07:00 AM ET, 02/23/2009

Categories:  Post Polls

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