Poll: Republicans will bear brunt of blame for ‘fiscal cliff’ failure

Republicans will shoulder more blame than President Barack Obama if Congress fails to pass legislation to prevent automatic spending cuts and tax increases, a situation known as the "fiscal cliff," according to a new poll.

Fifty-three percent of adults said Republicans in Congress will be "more to blame" if an agreement is not reached, according to a new survey conducted by The Washington Post and the Pew Research Center Nov. 29-Dec. 2. Just 27 percent of respondents placed more blame on the president, and 12 percent faulted both the president and the GOP.

A party breakdown of respondents shows blame directed at the opposing party. But among independents, Republicans received 52 percent of blame and the president received 21 percent. Sixteen percent of independents blamed both.

Americans appear to be pessimistic about the odds of a resolution, according to the poll. Nearly half of adults surveyed—49 percent—said they do not believe a deal will be reached, and 40 percent indicated they believe a deal is imminent.

The poll's margin of error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.