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Behind the Numbers
Posted at 01:18 PM ET, 07/08/2011

Poll watchers: personal finances, rising interest in GOP campaign, debt limit polling and Casey Anthony

Jobs numbers greet grim ratings of personal finance - A 54 percent majority of Americans say their personal finances are “not so good” or “poor” according to Bloomberg as a new government report shows job growth came to a near halt in June. In a separate survey by Marist College conducted in June, barely more than a quarter of adults are optimistic about their family’s finances over the next year, while just over half predict little change and two in 10 see their finances getting worse.

-Republicans more interested in campaign than four years ago - A quarter of Republicans are following news about the 2012 campaign “very closely,” up from 18 percent at a similar point in 2007, according to a Pew Research Center survey released yesterday.

Republicans are also becoming more familiar with their candidate choices. Gallup polls find that more than twice as many Republicans recognize Herman Cain than did so in April (up from 21 to 48 percent), and 42 percent say they’ve heard of Jon Huntsman Jr., up from 21 percent this Spring.

-Rundown debt-limit polling - As President Obama and Congress haggle over a debt-limit deal, polls offer plenty of ammunition for both sides to claim Americans’ support their position. For Obama and Democratic leaders, almost twice as many adults favor maintaining Social Security and Medicare benefits rather than making cuts to reduce the deficit, according to a mid-June Pew poll. For Republican leaders, an AP poll last month found a 43 percent plurality said that Congress should only increase the debt ceiling if it makes significant spending cuts at the same time. Fewer said the debt limit should be raised without major cuts.

Americans overwhelmingly agree on one aspect of the debate: They don’t trust either side to handle the situation well. Fully 61 percent disapproved of Obama’s handling of the deficit in a June Post-ABC News poll, but 69 percent disapproved of Republicans on the issue in an AP poll last month.

-Most say Casey Anthony probably murdered daughter - Though Casey Anthony was found not guilty by a Florida jury, 64 percent of Americans in a new USA Today/Gallup poll say allegations that she killed her daughter are at least probably true, including 20 percent who say they are “definitely” convinced. More than three-quarters of those who have been following the case believe Anthony murdered her child, but those following the story “very closely” give Anthony the harshest assessment: Some 44 percent say the allegations are definitely true, more than 27 percent among those who are only following the story “somewhat” closely.

By  |  01:18 PM ET, 07/08/2011

Categories:  Federal Budget Deficit, GOP nomination

 
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