As House Republicans gear up for a vote on John Boehner’s “Plan B,” a new CNN/ORC poll released today finds that Americans view the Republican Party as too extreme, and want them to compromise more with the Democrats when it comes to issues like the “fiscal cliff.”
As the deadline for a budget deal nears, Speaker Boehner and the Republicans are planning to hold a vote on “Plan B” tonight in the House of Representatives. Plan B, which would only raise tax rates on incomes over $1 million (giving 0.3 percent of households an average tax cut of $50,000,) falls far short of the revenue goals laid out by the White House at the outset of negotiations. As a result, President Obama has said that he will veto the bill if it gets to his desk — which it likely won’t, because Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has called it a “pointless political stunt” that won’t even get to the Senate floor for a vote.
Nonetheless, earlier today House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said the Republicans have the votes to pass the plan, which he insists is the “nation’s best option.” But according to the poll, the majority of Americans disagree with Rep. Cantor. Not only do 53 percent of Americans say the GOP’s policies are too extreme — up 17 points from two years ago — but an equal 53 percent believe that the Republicans need to compromise more than the Democrats by giving up more of the proposals they support.
Plan B is a perfect example of the type of plan that respondents to the poll panned; as the Washington Post‘s Greg Sargent points out, in the last election voters rejected the ideas in the proposal, which he says “simply repackages a range of conservative ideas that would redistribute wealth upwards” by retaining large estate tax cuts and blocking limits for itemized deductions on the wealthy.
If Boehner and Obama cannot reach a compromise and the country goes off the “fiscal cliff,” the CNN/ORC poll finds that 48 percent of Americans would blame the Republicans in Congress, up three points from a month ago. Just 37 percent would blame President Obama. Additionally, Obama is personally far more popular than Boehner; the poll shows the president’s job approval at 52 percent, compared to Speaker Boehner’s 34 percent approval rating.
The poll did have some good news for Republicans; it shows that a slight majority of 51 percent want the GOP to keep control of the House. However, it is important to note that in the last election Democrats won the popular vote for House seats, but Republicans kept control because following their 2010 victory, they gerrymandered key states by taking advantage of the post-census redistricting that takes place once every 10 years.
Photo credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin