POLITICS
11/26/2012 12:21 pm ET | Updated Nov 26, 2012

Approaching Fiscal Cliff, Elected Officials Will Act Like 'Spoiled Children,' Americans Predict

In a less than ringing endorsement, two-thirds of Americans predicted Washington's elected officials would behave "mostly like spoiled children" rather than responsible adults in the upcoming budget negotiations, according to a CNN poll released Monday.

The blame isn't equally distributed. By a 21-point margin, Americans were more likely to say President Obama was doing enough to cooperate with congressional Republicans than vice versa. If a deal isn't reached, 45 percent said it would be primarily Republicans' fault, compared to 34 percent who would attribute the failure more to Obama.

Other polling conducted since the election has found similar results, with Americans calling on both sides to budge but being more likely to fault the GOP for failing to do so.

There are some other signs of trouble for fiscal hawks. While polling reveals often-muddled public opinion on how best to handle the budget, a clear majority of the country supports high taxes on the wealthy to fund programs that help lower-income people. Two-thirds of those polled favored a budget plan including a combination of government spending cuts and tax increases on the wealthy, with just 29 percent calling for only spending cuts -- a gap that has grown by 8 points since the debt ceiling discussions last summer.

Even in the capital, a number of prominent congressional Republicans have questioned the "no new taxes" pledge endorsed by Grover Norquist.

The CNN/ORC poll surveyed 1,023 adults by phone between Nov. 16 and Nov. 18, with a 3 percent margin of error.

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