Republicans Lack Support as Sequestration Nears: Pew Poll

Photograph by Dan Cepeda/Star-Tribune/AP Photo

Civilian employees of contractor Magic City Enterprises stock the commissary shelves, after hours at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, Wyo, in this file photo. A base spokesperson said each the 1,100 civilians employed on the base could face forced furlough days amounting to about $8,000 in lost annual income if federal sequestration measures are enacted.

More than six in 10 Americans see the Republican Party as out of touch with them and half don’t believe the party looks out for the country’s future, according to a Pew Research Center poll released today.

The survey also gives Democrats higher marks on almost every measure in advance of the across-the-board spending cuts due to take effect starting March 1.

Both parties are trying to blame the other for what is known as sequestration; the legislation was supported by both President Barack Obama and Republican leaders in Congress. As an alternative to the sequestration bill, House Republicans proposed cutting food stamps to prevent defense cuts. Obama and Senate Democrats have called for higher taxes on millionaires.

The Pew survey reported that Americans view the Republicans as being out of touch, 62 percent to 33 percent, and as too extreme, 52 percent to 42 percent. By 50 percent to 45 percent, they say Republicans don’t look out for the future of the U.S., and by 56 percent to 39 percent, they say the party is not open to change.

Democrats scored higher marks on all three questions. The party was viewed as being in touch with the American people, 50 percent to 46 percent; was not viewed as too extreme, 56 percent to 39 percent; and was interested in the country’s future, 51 percent to 45 percent. By 58 percent to 38 percent, they said Democrats were open to change.

More Americans said the Republicans rather than the Democrats had strong principles, 62 percent to 57 percent.

The survey of 1,504 adults was conducted Feb. 13-18 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.

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