Poll: Huge Majority Of Tea Partiers Think Debt Limit Is No Big Deal

As the United States moves closer to the debt ceiling, a poll released Tuesday found the vast majority of tea party Republicans don’t think the looming deadline is all that significant.

The latest findings from Pew Research Center showed that while a slight majority of all Americans — 51 percent — believe that it is “absolutely essential” for Congress to raise the debt limit before the Thursday deadline, 69 percent of tea partiers said the U.S. “can go past the deadline…without major economic problems.”

Thirty-six percent of all Americans believe that the U.S. can safely go past the deadline, while just 23 percent of the tea party said it’s essential to raise the debt ceiling. An overwhelming majority of 67 percent of Democrats called raising the debt ceiling essential, while 52 percent of Republicans said that the deadline could pass without triggering economic problems.

Although economists across the board have warned that failure to raise the debt limit could cause the U.S. to default and trigger global turmoil, a group of Republicans on Capitol Hill has been dismissive of the risk. Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) even suggested last week that the Affordable Care Act represents a greater risk to the American economy than default.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Kludt is a reporter for Talking Points Memo based in New York City, covering media and national affairs. Originally from South Dakota, Tom joined TPM as an intern in late-2011 and became a staff member during the 2012 election. He can be reached at tom@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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