Seven out of 10 North Carolina residents are at least somewhat worried about across-the-board federal budget cuts that take effect today as a result of sequestration, according to the latest Elon University Poll. A majority of respondents blame Congress for the cuts.
The live-caller telephone poll of 891 residents was conducted Feb. 24-28, 2013, and has a margin of error of 3.28 percentage points. The sample is of the population in general with numbers that included both landlines and cellular phones.
Anxiety over the fiscal crisis varied by age group. Though the cuts will not impact Social Security or Medicare, older respondents were much more worried than younger respondents. Forty-four percent of respondents 65 and older said they were very worried about across-the-board spending cuts, while only 32 percent of those between the ages of 18 and 30 said they were very worried.
The survey found partisan differences in the level of concern over the automatic spending cuts. About 43 percent of Democrats said they were very worried compared to 34 percent of Republicans and 34 percent of Independents.
HOW WORRIED ARE YOU ABOUT THE CURRENT FEDERAL BUDGET CRISIS AND AUTOMATIC ACROSS-THE-BOARD SPENDING CUTS?
Very Worried: 36 percent
Somewhat Worried: 34 percent
Not Too Worried: 18 percent
Not at All Worried: 10 percent
Don’t know: 2 percent
WHO DESERVES MORE OF THE BLAME FOR THE CURRENT BUDGET CRISIS (CONGRESS/PRESIDENT)?
Congress: 54 percent
President: 22 percent
Both: 17 percent
WHO DESERVES MORE OF THE BLAME FOR THE CURRENT BUDGET CRISIS (REPUBLICANS/DEMOCRATS)?
Republicans: 34 percent
Democrats: 28 percent
Neither/Other: 32 percent
“Seventy percent of North Carolina residents are worried about the federal budget crisis and across-the-board spending cuts,” said Elon University Poll director Kenneth Fernandez. “Both parties seem to share part of the blame for failing to reach an agreement to avoid sequestration.”
Blame for the cuts are also reflected in presidential and congressional job approval ratings.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA
Approve: 48 percent
Disapprove: 45 percent
Approve: 11 percent
Disapprove: 82 percent
“The President seems to be weathering the budget crisis far better than Congress,” said Jason Husser, assistant director of the Elon University Poll.