09/19/2013 01:08 pm ET Updated Sep 19, 2013

What Do Republican Voters Want On The Debt Ceiling? Apocalypse Now!


Perhaps the scariest thing we have going on in this American life is how the issue of "raising the debt ceiling" -- which must be done from time to time for the sake of the economy, and which, up until recent years, was something presidents of both parties could get from Congress without a lot of psychopathic rinky-dink -- has inexplicably become a partisan issue.

But when Greg Sargent peered into the most recent Washington Post/ABC News poll on the matter, he found that the new left-versus-right debate over the debt ceiling has now fully crystalized.

The poll's top line says there is a 46-43 percent split among respondents, with the larger group favoring raising the debt ceiling. But these numbers are driven by partisanship:

Republicans are far more likely to oppose raising the debt limit than anyone else; they say don’t raise it by 61-25. By contrast, Dems say raise it by 62-31, and independents split by 48-46 on raising versus not raising it.

But that's not all! The same poll found that a majority of Republican voters who believe that not raising the debt ceiling will cause great economic harm to the country nevertheless support not raising the debt ceiling. Per Sargent:

Republicans, however, also believe overwhelmingly that not raising it would cause serious economic harm — by 66-27. (Dems and indys tilt the same way.)

How to square that? Simple: Among Republicans who believe not raising it would cause serious economic harm, a majority say don’t raise it by 53-32.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what the "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders" refers to as "super-duper nutball."

If we get a debt ceiling crisis, it’s because Republican voters want one [The Plum Line]

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