The best number for Republicans in the Washington Post-ABC poll

March 13, 2013

Earlier today, we picked the single best number for Democrats in the new Washington Post-ABC News poll.  Now, we tackle the best number for Republicans. (You can see the full poll here.)


These are numbers. Lots of them.

When asked who would do a better job "finding the right balance between cutting government spending that is not needed and continuing government spending that is needed", 44 percent named Republicans in Congress while 43 percent chose President Obama.

That's a reversal from an October 2011 WaPo-ABC survey -- the last time we asked the question  -- when 44 percent said they trusted Obama to do a better job making the right decisions about government spending while 39 percent opted for Congressional Republicans.

Given that the central challenge of the coming months and, in truth, the coming years is figuring out how what the right size and shape of government can and should be, Republicans have to feel good that they currently stand on equal footing with President Obama on the issue.

And, in light of the other dismal numbers for Republican in the poll -- 24 percent congressional approval! -- the strength the party shows on the issue of trust when it comes to making the smart spending cuts is particularly noteworthy. (Equally noteworthy: Obama had a narrow 44 percent to 40 percent edge over congressional Republicans when it came to who people trust to do a better job with the economy.)

Any good news is welcome for a GOP struggling to regain its balance after the 2012 election. And the economic trust numbers most definitely fall in the "good news" category.

 

Chris Cillizza writes “The Fix,” a politics blog for the Washington Post. He also covers the White House.
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Juliet Eilperin | March 13, 2013