A CNN/Opinion Research poll released Monday shows that a majority of Americans approve of the spending compromise agreed to late last Friday between President Obama and congressional leaders – and that the deal has more support among Democrats than Republicans.
The poll asked: “As you may know, an agreement between the Republicans and Democrats in Congress and Barack Obama prevented the federal government from shutting down all non-essential services. Based on what you have read or heard, do you approve or disapprove of that budget agreement?”
Fifty-eight percent of national adults polled over the weekend said they approve of the budget agreement, which includes $38 billion in spending cuts. Thirty-eight percent of those polled said they disapproved, and five percent had no opinion.
The question’s wording portrays the budget deal in favorable terms (such as “prevented” a shutdown) but does not mention the $38 billion in cuts contained in the spending bill.
When broken down by party affiliation, 66 percent of Democrats approve of the deal, while 28 percent disapprove; 56 percent of independents approve, and 39 percent disapprove; and 47 percent of Republicans approve, while 49 percent disapprove.
The results run somewhat counter to the consensus among political observers in the days following the deal’s announcement: that it has been that House Republicans – and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) in particular – who have benefited most from the deal.
On the other hand, the numbers may reflect the sentiment among tea party activists that any final deal cutting less than the $61 billion passed by the House in February would be unsatisfactory.
The CNN poll showed that opposition to the budget deal is greatest among tea party supporters, 50 percent of whom disapprove of the deal, while 45 percent support it.
The survey also indicated that the public supports federal funding of programs that had been targeted by some of the policy riders in the House-passed funding bill. Sixty-five percent of those polled said they believe the federal government should continue to fund Planned Parenthood, while 34 percent support eliminating funding.
An even greater share – 71 percent -- said they back federal funding of the Environmental Protection Agency to enforce greenhouse gas and other regulations, while 28 percent opposed such funding.
And on the national health care law, 58 percent of those polled by CNN said they support continued federal funding of the law’s provisions, while 41 percent opposed funding the law.
Meanwhile, 61 percent of respondents said they oppose federal funding of abortion services when the woman cannot afford it; 35 percent said they are in favor of such funding. (Most congressional Democrats contend that there is no direct federal funding of abortion services, while most Republicans argue that the existing restrictions do not go far enough.)
The poll surveyed 824 adults on April 9 and 10 and had a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.