Who’s Winning the Debt Ceiling Narrative? Now We Know

News & Politics

Joe Biden has desperately been trying to make sure that Republicans are to blame if debt ceiling negotiations go sour. And considering the mainstream media is on his side, it actually isn’t an unreasonable assumption that most Americans would be given the impression that Biden has been the one negotiating in good faith with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif), and that McCarthy would be to blame if America ends up going in default.

But a new poll shows that more Americans would hold Biden responsible for a potential default, rather than McCarthy or congressional Republicans.

A new poll conducted by Fox News in collaboration with Beacon Research and Shaw and Company Research shows that despite the best efforts of the White House, Biden is losing the messaging battle over the debt limit.

Initially, Biden didn’t want to include any spending cuts in a bill that would increase the debt ceiling. It turns out that most Americans disagreed with Biden on that issue.  The poll found that 57 percent of respondents believe that the debt limit should only be increased if it includes spending cuts, and only 27 percent feel that the debt ceiling should be raised without any additional requirements. The same poll found that just 13 percent believe the debt limit should not be increased, leading to a potential default on U.S. debt.

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Related: Biden, McCarthy Edge Closer to a ‘Slimmed Down’ Debt Limit Bill

But the real bad news for Joe Biden is that should the United States default on its debt before an agreement is reached to raise the debt ceiling, a larger proportion of Americans would hold President Biden responsible rather than Republicans in Congress, by a margin of 47% to 44%. Also, 8% of respondents stated that they would blame both parties if a default were to happen.

This is a remarkably different scenario compared to 2011, when just 32% of voters would have have blamed Obama if the U.S. defaulted on its debt, while 47% would have blamed congressional Republicans.

Democratic pollster Chris Anderson, who conducted the Fox News survey with Republican Daron Shaw, notes that Republicans have gained an advantage in this debate.

“Americans have come to understand there won’t be any winners in a default situation,” explains Democratic pollster Chris Anderson. “But they have also come to believe there should be strings attached, which means Republican leaders have established their right to negotiate over something that Biden, and history, indicated were non-negotiable.”

Related: Biden Won’t Rule Out Declaring Debt Ceiling Unconstitutional

This is quite devastating news for Joe Biden, who, despite having the mainstream media and Big Tech on his side, has failed to maintain the narrative advantage they had anticipated on the debt ceiling matter. The situation has become increasingly desperate within the West Wing, leading Biden’s aides to complain about the alleged inability of the mainstream media to shape the debt limit situation in a manner favorable to Biden. With the 2024 elections coming up, Biden is now on defense in the debt ceiling negotiations, which is essentially a losing scenario for him. If the nation defaults, the voters will blame him. If spending reductions are made, McCarthy wins.

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