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Poll: GOP is more ‘extreme’ but slightly better at running things

Republicans have seen a lot of horrible polling lately, so here's one tidbit of relatively good news for them.

A new Pew Research survey finds that the public thinks the Republican Party is more "extreme" and uncompromising than the Democratic Party. But, by slim margins, respondents also said Republicans do a "better job dealing with the economy" and "can better manage the government."


It's something, at least.

In other, more substantive news, a majority of Republicans say that the United States can blow past the Oct. 17 debt ceiling deadline without "major economic problems," Pew finds. But what's striking is that 52 percent of tea party Republicans don't think we ever need to raise the ceiling:


For those curious, here's our primer on the debt ceiling. Note that the first missed payment would not necessarily occur right on Oct. 17 (although there might be some market turmoil before then). So in that sense, many Republicans could be right. Oct. 17 isn't necessarily the doomsday date — many analysts think that won't come until later in the month, and possibly not until Nov. 1.

On the other hand, the view that we don't ever need to lift the debt ceiling is harder to defend. Here's an explanation of why failing to raise the debt ceiling would be bad news even if the United States didn't default on its debt.

Related: Absolutely everything you need to know about the debt ceiling.



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Lydia DePillis · October 15, 2013

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