Poll shows fear of debt fallout, lack of confidence in leaders

A series of polls by the Washington Post revealed public attitudes about Republican presidential hopefuls, the current administration's ability to deal with the debt crisis, and the potential consequences of defaulting on the national debt.

  • Republican candidates
  • Leadership ability
  • Debt default consequences

State of the race for the GOP nomination

Mitt Romney remains the national front-runner but has generally soft levels of support. Sarah Palin has the potential to drastically reshuffle the equation with her ability to connect with Republican-oriented voters. Newcomer Michele Bachmann's appeal is limited to those who strongly back the tea party movement.

Source: This Washington Post-ABC News poll was conducted by telephone July 14 to 17 among a random national sample of 1,001 adults, including 430 Republicans and GOP-leaning independents. These results have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus five percentage points. Sampling, data collection and tabulation by Abt-SRBI of New York. Graphic: The Washington Post. Published July 21, 2011.

Little confidence in Washington leaders to resolve debt debate

Fewer than half of Americans have confidence in President Obama to deal with the debt ceiling, and even fewer trust five key congressional leaders to do the right thing.

Source: This Washington Post-Pew Research Center poll was conducted by telephone July 14 to 17 among a random national sample of 1,006 adults, including users of both conventional and cellular phones. The results reported have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. Sampling, data collection and tabulation by PSRAI of Princeton, NJ.Sampling, data collection and tabulation by TNS of Horsham, Pa. Graphic: The Washington Post. Published July 19, 2011.

Public sees big consequences from debt default

Large majorities say a default would cause economic pain, but most see the White House and Congress as unwilling to strike a deal. Still, 54 percent believe there will be an agreement before the Aug. 2 deadline, and most say a mixture of spending cuts and tax increases should be included.

Source: This Washington Post-ABC News poll was conducted by telephone July 14 to 17 among a random national sample of 1,001 adults, including users of both conventional and cellular phones. The results from the full survey have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. Sampling, data collection and tabulation by Abt-SRBI of New York. Graphic: The Washington Post. Published July 20, 2011.