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What They Told Us: Reviewing Last Week’s Key Polls - Week Ending March 4, 2011

President Obama once famously noted that “elections have consequences.” Legislators in Washington, D.C. and Madison, Wisconsin can certainly attest to the truth of that statement. Republican gains have translated into major budget battles involving issues and programs that Democrats have held dear for years.

The U.S. Congress is stalemated as Democrats fight $57 billion in additional spending cuts Republicans want to make in the federal budget for 2011, but most Likely Voters (53%) continue to believe that the proposed GOP cuts aren’t very significant. 

Most voters (58%) would rather have a partial shutdown of the federal government than keep government spending at current levels. Democrats overwhelmingly believe a shutdown would be bad for the economy but Republicans and unaffiliated voters are evenly divided as to whether the impact would be good or bad. Scott Rasmussen offers a closer look at the shutdown numbers in a new video analysis. 

Most voters still want to see the national health care law repealed, too, and confidence that repeal will actually happen is on the upswing. Belief that repeal will be good for the economy, however, has fallen to its lowest level ever.

Voters continue to strongly prefer cuts in government spending to tax increases, but for the first time in nearly two years, slightly more voters (45%) would vote for a candidate who promises to raise taxes only on the wealthy than one who promises to oppose all tax increases (41%). Is it statistical noise or the beginning of a trend? We’ll see.

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