Elon, N.C. — Congress is responsible for the lack of a deal that has resulted in $82 billion in automatic federal spending cuts taking effect Friday, according to a new poll of North Carolina residents.
The Elon University Poll surveyed 891 people statewide Sunday through Thursday about the across-the-board cuts. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.28 percentage points.
Fifty-four percent of those polled blame Congress for the impasse, while 22 percent said President Barack Obama was responsible and 17 percent blamed both sides.
Republicans were blamed slightly more than Democrats – 34 to 28 percent – although 32 percent responded that both parties or neither party was responsible.
“The president seems to be weathering the budget crisis far better than Congress,” Jason Husser, assistant director of the Elon University Poll, said in a statement.
Obama's approval rating is 48 percent, according to the poll, while Congress scored an 11 percent approval rating.
Seventy percent of those polled expressed some worry over the spending cuts, and officials said anxiety over the fiscal crisis varied by age. Although the cuts won't affect Social Security or Medicare, 44 percent of respondents 65 or older said they were very worried about the cuts, compared with 32 percent of those ages 18 to 30.
The survey also found partisan differences in the level of concern. About 43 percent of Democrats said they were very worried, compared with 34 percent of Republicans and 34 percent of Independents.