76% of Florida likely voters oppose ‘clean’ debt ceiling increase

57% disapprove of President Obama’s handling of debt ceiling negotiations; young voters strongly support government spending cuts

Likely voters in Florida appear to be very skeptical of raising the debt ceiling without major changes that will reduce the federal budget deficit, according to Viewpoint Florida’s latest statewide survey.

In fact, nearly 1 in 4 respondents said they would prefer that Congress not raise the debt ceiling at all, while just 20% of respondents said they would support an increase in the debt ceiling without also passing a deficit reduction plan. 52% said that they would only support a debt ceiling increase if it were coupled with a plan to cut the deficit, including 59% of Republicans and even 45% of Democrats.

Voters aged 18-34 were particularly opposed to a ‘clean’ debt ceiling increase. Just 4% of respondents in that age group supported a debt ceiling increase without a deficit reduction plan, to 60% who supported coupling more debt with cutting the deficit.

While 76% of likely voters are at least somewhat wary of raising the debt ceiling, they are much more divided on how to go about cutting the deficit. 49% of respondents said Congress should pass a deficit reduction plan that includes only cuts in government spending, while 45% of respondents preferred a mix of spending cuts and tax increases on businesses and wealthy Americans.

Interestingly, likely voters under the age of 35 were by far the most likely group to support a ‘cuts only’ plan, with 81% of respondents favoring that plan over a plan with tax increases.

Finally, just 40% of respondents approved of President Obama’s handling of the ongoing debt ceiling negotiations, while 57% said they disapproved of his efforts, including 46% who strongly disapproved.

While Republicans not surprisingly heavily disapproved of Obama’s performance on the debt ceiling, a surprising 36% of registered Democrats said they disapproved of the President’s work as well. And voters aged 18-34 disapproved of Obama’s debt ceiling performance by a 31 point margin.

President Obama has advocated for increased tax revenues from wealthy Americans and businesses, a position that at least young likely voters in Florida, a key electoral constituency for the President, overwhelmingly opposes, according to our survey results.

The study was conducted on July 25th, 2011 among 826 Florida registered voters likely to vote in the 2012 General Election. The margin of error is +/- 3.5%.

Full Results

For details see Methodology

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