According to a new Morning Joe/Marist poll, Americans overwhelmingly favor the Democratic approach to managing the economy and toughening gun laws.
The poll finds that 64 percent believe that creating jobs should be Congress and President Obama’s top priority, while just 33 percent agree with the Republican position that reducing the federal budget deficit is paramount.
Furthermore, when asked how they believe the deficit should be reduced, 42 percent agree with President Obama’s position that we should both cut spending and increase revenues, while 35 percent believe that we should primarily increase revenues, and just 17 percent agree with House Republicans that deficit reduction should come mostly through spending cuts.
Although Republicans have repeatedly asserted that new tax revenue should be off the table as a result of the fiscal cliff deal that raised taxes on family income above $450,000, the American public does not agree. Just 18 percent say that the January tax increase makes them less likely to support reducing the deficit by limiting tax deductions on high income, while 22 percent say it makes them more likely, while 56 percent say it makes no difference to their opinion.
Despite Americans’ sharp disapproval of the GOP’s policy proposals, President Obama only leads the GOP 44 to 40 percent on the question of who has a better approach to dealing with the deficit. This result helps to explain Democrats’ determination to tie Republicans to the specifics of Paul Ryan’s budget plan, which would drastically reduce spending while providing tax cuts to wealthy Americans.
The poll also found that Americans back stronger gun safety regulations. Although some pundits have speculated that the voters are losing interest in the issue as the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting recedes further from the headlines, the Morning Joe/Marist poll finds that support for new regulations is almost unchanged from Marist’s previous polls.
Legislation that would require background checks for private gun sales and gun shows is supported by 87 percent, while just 12 percent oppose it. Additionally, 59 percent support legislation that would ban the sale of assault weapons, with 37 percent opposing it.
Overall, 60 percent believe that gun laws should be more strict, while 33 percent say they should be kept as they are now, and 5 percent say they should be made more lenient. Notably, there is a huge partisan split on this question; 83 percent of Democrats support tougher regulations, compared to just 37 percent of Republicans. So as long as the House majority is held by Republicans from overwhelming Republican districts, passing any meaningful new gun laws through the lower chamber will be an uphill battle.
The full results of the poll can be seen here.
AP Photo/Charles Dharapak