Biden Poised To Take Blame for Debt Default, Poll Shows

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May 25, 2023

As congressional Republicans square off with President Joe Biden over the debt ceiling, a new poll suggests that more voters would blame the president in the event of a default.

A Fox News poll of registered voters, conducted between May 19 and 22, found that 47 percent of voters would blame the president if the United States defaulted on its debt, whereas 44 percent would attribute the outcome to Republicans in Congress. An Economist/YouGov poll returned similar results. This marks a considerable gain for Republicans compared with when the United States faced a similar crisis in 2011.

During the 2011 debt crisis, only 32 percent of voters said they would blame then-president Barack Obama for a default, while 47 percent said they would peg it on Republicans, according to Fox. Biden is doing 15 points worse than Obama, the last Democratic president.

Americans also seem to align more with Republicans on how to avoid a default.

Polls by both CNN and Fox have found that the majority of Americans only want the debt ceiling lifted if the government also cuts spending. Republicans in April passed a bill that would both raise the debt ceiling and cut spending by about 14 percent over the course of 10 years.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has stated that failing to raise the debt ceiling will cause an "economic catastrophe." The Treasury estimates that the government has until early June to increase the debt ceiling and avoid a default.

In the Fox poll, Americans across party lines agreed with Yellen, saying that if Biden and congressional Republicans fail to reach an agreement, it would be a "financial catastrophe."