A majority of Pennsylvania Republicans view the "fiscal cliff” threat as imminent but express a strong desire for a compromise agreement that includes a combination of tax increases on higher-income Americans and spending cuts, according to a new Mercyhurst University poll released today.
The poll of the Mercyhurst Center for Applied Politics sampled 430 registered Republicans in Pennsylvania (MOE +/- 4.7 percent) on two key issues: how their party should address the fiscal cliff and their views of the Republican party in the aftermath of the GOP's presidential defeat.
In the ongoing debate over how to avert the fiscal cliff, Republicans found few reasons for optimism. Sixty-four percent of those polled said they are pessimistic that President Obama and the Republicans in Congress will reach an agreement before the Dec. 31 deadline. They find fault on both sides of the fence: Neither President Obama (75 percent) or Republicans in Congress (50 percent) have shown enough willingness to compromise since the November election.
Respondents said the president (77 percent) and GOP (53 percent) should compromise even if they have to sacrifice some of their beliefs. A solid majority (60 percent) of Pennsylvania Republicans said a budget agreement should include a combination of tax increases on higher-income Americans and spending cuts in contrast to only spending cuts (28 percent) or tax increases (4 percent).
Further, those polled are taking the fiscal cliff threat personally, with 76 percent saying that failure to avoid it will impact their own financial situation. Eighty-one percent said it will hurt the Pennsylvania and U.S. economies.
Meanwhile, Pennsylvania Republicans failed to identify a clear party leader and do not agree on the reasons Mitt Romney lost the election, the poll showed. A majority (54 percent) of Pennsylvania Republicans were unable to identify even one person as the leader. Small minorities said that their leader is John Boehner (13 percent), Mitt Romney (10 percent), Paul Ryan (6 percent), Marco Rubio (3 percent) or Chris Christie (3 percent). Similarly, Republicans were divided when it came to identifying the key reason Mitt Romney failed to win the 2012 presidential election, with a small plurality of voters (12 percent) saying voters’ misperception about their party’s candidate or his personal attributes was most important.
A complete report can be found on the MCAP website.