Americans blame Republicans more than Democrats for 'fiscal cliff'

WASHINGTON Fri Dec 28, 2012 1:58am IST

Actors dressed as (L-R) Joseph and the Three Wise Men, part of a live-human nativity scene, stroll past the U.S. Capitol Building after demonstrating outside the nearby Supreme Court in Washington, December 5, 2012. REUTERS/Jason Reed

Actors dressed as (L-R) Joseph and the Three Wise Men, part of a live-human nativity scene, stroll past the U.S. Capitol Building after demonstrating outside the nearby Supreme Court in Washington, December 5, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Jason Reed

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Americans blame Republicans in Congress more than congressional Democrats or President Barack Obama for the current "fiscal cliff" crisis, as the deadline approaches for action to avert big tax increases and spending cuts, a Reuters/Ipsos poll showed on Thursday.

When asked who they believed to be more responsible for the "fiscal cliff" situation, 27 percent blamed Republicans in Congress, 16 percent blamed Obama and 6 percent pointed to Democrats in Congress. The largest percentage - 31 percent - blamed "all of the above."

A similar breakdown was found in response to questions about the economy. Asked who was responsible for the national unemployment rate, the poll found 23 percent chose Republicans in Congress, 16 percent said Obama and 7 percent said Democrats in Congress, while 32 percent picked "all of the above."

The U.S. unemployment rate stood at 7.7 percent in November, according to Labor Department figures.

"Fiscal cliff" refers to the tax increases on nearly all Americans and the deep, automatic government spending cuts due to begin in January - possibly pushing the United States back into recession - if lawmakers do not take action.

Sixty-seven percent of Americans polled in the online survey said the impending "fiscal cliff" was not affecting their holiday spending.

The survey of 1,477 Americans, interviewed online, was conducted December 23-27. The precision of the Reuters/Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.

Graphic on U.S. unemployment link.reuters.com/wam54t

(Reporting by Tabassum Zakaria; Editing by Alistair Bell and Will Dunham)

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