A Gallup poll out today shows increasing pessimism that President Barack Obama and Congress will be able to avoid the combination of tax increases and spending cuts known as the “fiscal cliff” by the Jan. 1 deadline.
Just 50 percent said they expected to have a deal in place, down from 57 percent a week earlier. The percentage of those saying they expected to go over the cliff rose to 48 percent from 40 percent.
What the poll also shows is more support for Obama and congressional Democratic leaders in the talks, and less backing for the Republicans.
A majority of respondents, 54 percent, said they approved of the way Obama was handling the talks, with 38 percent disapproving. Last week, respondents approved of Obama’s performance, 48 percent to 43 percent. Congressional Democratic leaders also moved into positive territory, with 45 percent approving and 43 percent disapproving the way of they were handling the talks and 43 percent disapproving.
That’s a reversal from last week, when 34 percent approved and 56 percent disapproved. More than six in 10 respondents, 61 percent, disapproved of congressional Republican leaders’ handling of the talks.