The Washington Post

Poll Watchers: Budget debate fallout, Trump bump, Civil War continued and Mitt Romney

• Budget debate fallout – Ridiculous, disgusting, messy, frustrating, disappointing, stupid. These are the words most commonly used to describe the budget debacle in the days following the agreement in a new Washington Post-Pew Research Center poll. In addition to the highly negative reactions, blame goes around about evenly for President Obama, the Democrats and Republicans in Congress for the situation.

• CNN on budget showdown – The public is clearly unhappy with the process, but more positive about the results, at least when those are presented as a positive. A CNN poll conducted on Saturday and Sunday after an agreement was reached finds 58 percent saying they approve of the budget agreement that “prevented the federal government from shutting down.” Majorities of Democrats and independents approve, but Republicans divide between approval and disapproval. One reason to explain the overall approval (despite the negative reaction to the process) is the fact that 63 percent viewed a shutdown as a crisis or a major problem.

• Name recoginition anyone? — Donald Trump moves to the top of the GOP field in the new CNN poll. Nineteen percent of Republicans say they would be “most likely to support him” for the GOP nomination for president. That’s a nine-point bump since a CNN poll from a month ago and places him atop the field alongside Mike Huckabee. In the poll, Trump has more than doubled his share among women, rising from 10 to 23 percent.

• Civil War – Also from CNN are new data about sympathies over the Civil War. By 67 to 23 percent, more sympathize with the Union than the Confederacy. But in Southern states sympathies for the Confederacy rise to 38 percent. A Washington Post poll released Monday finds that the North vs. South divide has faded significantly, with twice as many seeing a bigger cultural divide between big cities and small towns.

• Mitt Romney – The former Massachusetts governor announced his intention to form an exploratory committee for the 2012 presidential race on Monday. The latest public polls among Republicans consistently place him at or near the top of the field for the GOP nomination, along with Mike Huckabee. However, the new CNN poll cited above sees Romney knocked from the top for the first time by Donald Trump.

Peyton M. Craighill is polling manager for the Washington Post. Peyton reports and conducts national and regional news polls for the Washington Post, with a focus on politics, elections and other social and economic issues.

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