Most Americans think jarring economic problems will erupt if lawmakers fail to increase the government's borrowing limit. Yet they're torn over how or even whether to raise it, leaning toward Republican demands that any boost be accompanied by spending cuts.
According to an Associated Press-GfK poll, 53 percent say that if the debt limit is not extended and the United States defaults, the country will face a major economic crisis. An additional 27 percent say such a crisis would be somewhat likely, while just 17 percent largely dismiss the prospects of such damage.
When asked which political path to follow, 39 percent of poll respondents support the insistence by Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., that deep spending cuts be attached to any measure increasing the debt ceiling. That's more than the 30 percent who back Obama's demand that borrowing authority not entwined with a bitter fight over trimming the budget. But 21 percent oppose boosting the debt ceiling at all.
Democrats had a slight 41 to 36 percent advantage over Republicans as the party more trusted to handle the economy.
The poll involved landline and cellphone interviews with 1,004 randomly chosen adults and had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points. It was conducted from Jan. 10 to 14 by GfK Roper Public Affairs and Corporate Communications.