The Washington Post

Poll watcher: Is Gingrich competitive with Obama? Most want compromise on supercommittee

Is Gingrich competitive with Obama? Newt Gingrich’s precipitous rise to the top tier in the race for the GOP nomination begs a key question: How would he fare against President Obama? Polls this month show that Gingrich trails Obama by anywhere from two to 12 percentage points in a general election matchup among registered voters (the two-point deficit is within the poll’s margin of error). That’s a fairly wide variance -- fitting for a hypothetical contest almost a year away.

You can read the four horserace polls here: Fox News, Pew Research, CNN/ORC and McClatchy-Marist.

Americans support compromise, but on what? With the congressional “supercommittee” struggling to reach an agreement to tame the debt by next week’s deadline, a heavy majority of the public still believes that mixing spending cuts with tax increases is the best approach, according to a Pew Research Center poll released Thursday. Nearly two in three Americans say they want lawmakers who share their views to “compromise, even if they strike a deal you disagree with,” compared with fewer than three in 10 who want them to stick to their principles even if no progress is made.”

Asked about specific deficit-cutting provisions for the supercommittee, a McClatchy-Marist poll released Thursday finds, 81 percent of voters say members should not include major cuts in Social Security and Medicare, and 59 percent oppose higher taxes on business. A bare majority opposes major cuts in defense spending (51 percent), but fully two-thirds support including tax hikes on higher-income Americans in a deal.

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Scott Clement is the polling manager at The Washington Post, specializing in public opinion about politics, election campaigns and public policy.

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