Gallup Poll Editor in Chief Frank Newport said President Obama maintains his popularity through trying economic times better than the experience of his predecessors would dictate.
The hardcore Republican debt hawks fueled by November's tea party victories say that Congress has historically gone back on promised spending cuts. So far, they are refusing to budge without some guarantee that the cuts will actually materialize.
A new Pew poll finds that 41 percent favor President Obama in the presidential election, while 40 percent favor a generic Republican candidate. Earlier in the year, Mr. Obama had been ahead.
A proposed amendment to the Constitution requiring a balanced federal budget has been the subject of congressional hearings for 60 years. But the issue is even older than that.