Poll: Majority Opposes Raising Debt Ceiling

It’s no surprise that raising the debt ceiling is pretty unpopular:

Only 27 percent of likely voters favor raising the nation’s $14.3 trillion debt ceiling, while 62 percent oppose it, according to an exclusive poll for The Hill.

The poll found solid opposition from Republicans and also from independent voters, who are critical to President Obama’s re-election in 2012.

Seventy-seven percent of likely GOP voters and 64 percent of independent voters said they don’t want the debt ceiling to be raised. Even among Democrats, more oppose raising the ceiling (46 percent) than support it (42 percent).

As I’ve said before, raising the debt ceiling has always been an incredibly unpopular issue so this is no surprise. The problem for those who would tout a poll like this as evidence of the American public’s fiscal conservatism is that other polls consistently show that there is no public consensus about what kind of spending cuts should be made to avoid fiscal disaster.

So, basically, the public doesn’t want to increase the debt ceiling but they also don’t want to cut spending or raise taxes. That sort of makes any kind of actual solution to this problem impossible.

FILED UNDER: Deficit and Debt, Public Opinion Polls, US Politics, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. EddieInCA says:

    Doug –

    It also shows how terribly uninformed the American electorate is about substantive issues. Not raising the debt ceiling would be catastrophic to the American economy – catastrophic.

    Eh… Nevermind the collapse of our economic system. It makes us feel good to say we’re against big government, until it’s time to actually, you know, make spending cuts.

  2. wr says:

    I suspect if they’d ask the respondents to explain exactly what the debt ceiling is, the answers would have been pretty amusing…

  3. Terrye says:

    I bet if you ask people if they want the government to default on the debt they would say no. The problem is that even if the Congress did agree to steep spending cuts, they would still have the debt ceiling to avoid default on existing. Isn’t that so?

  4. john personna says:

    They want congress to find the missing money “somewhere.”

  5. anjin-san says:

    > Nevermind the collapse of our economic system.

    The GOP led us to the brink just a few short years ago. There is unfinished work to be done!