White House debt ceiling talks take place with public in a sour mood
As President Obama and congressional leaders meet Saturday at the White House, polls show the public sharply divided on the debt problem’s urgency, down on both parties, and favoring more compromise.
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While Boehner has to worry about his right flank, Obama has to worry about his left, according to a CNN/ORC International Poll released Friday. It found that Obama’s approval rating had slipped to 45 percent, down 3 percentage points from June. His 54 percent disapproval level contains “signs of a stirring discontent on the left,” CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said in a statement.Skip to next paragraph
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"Thirty-eight percent say they disapprove because President Obama has been too liberal, but 13 percent say they disapprove of Obama because he has not been liberal enough – nearly double what it was in May, when the question was last asked, and the first time that number has hit double digits in Obama's presidency,” Keating said.
The progressive wing of the Democratic Party is concerned that President Obama is too willing to make cuts in programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid to get Speaker Boehner to agree to a deal. "The Democratic base did not work night and day to elect Democrats so that they could cave to tea party extremists who are intent on gutting the social safety net millions of us fought to establish and protect," Justin Ruben, executive director of MoveOn.org, said in a statement.
Both Republicans and Democrats face an electorate in a sour mood. A Washington Post/ABC poll released last week found that 80 percent of those surveyed were either angry or dissatisfied with the way things work in Washington – the highest figure since 1992. When the Post asked “are you inclined to vote to re-elect your representative in Congress, or are you inclined to look around for someone else,” some 63 percent said they would look around, an all- time high.
There is a strong feeling among Americans that both parties should do more to compromise, the new CNN poll found. When asked whether Obama was doing enough to cooperate with Republicans in Congress, 57 percent said no. And when asked whether Republicans in Congress were doing enough to cooperate with the president, 68 percent said no.
“Although most Americans say that Obama is not doing enough to cooperate with the GOP, even more say that the Republicans need to cooperate more with the president,” said CNN polling director Holland.