The debate to extend payroll tax cuts and unemployment benefits into the new year ended with what many consider a victory for President Obama, as House Republicans conceded to allowing a two-month extension while debate continues over how to fund a one-year tax holiday. According to a poll released December 28 by Gallup, Congressional Democrats and President Obama have public opinion in their favor as they embark on negotiations, as 41 percent of respondents stated they had more confidence in Democrats regarding this issue, and 34 percent expressed more confidence in Republicans. A separate Gallup poll conducted as the payroll tax debate was taking shape indicated 32 percent of respondents rating President Obama’s 2011 performance as “Excellent” or “Good” while 12 percent gave the same ratings to Congressional Republicans. Democrats in Congress received 18 percent positive ratings.
Gallup Polling Methodology
The payroll tax cut data was collected as part of a daily tracking survey, conducted on December 27. The sample consisted of 999 U.S. adults, contacted at random via live telephone interviews to landlines and cell phones. Gallup employs minimum quotas of 400 cell phone respondents and 600 landline respondents per 1000 total respondents, however the quotas didn’t apply to this survey since it only consisted of 999 respondents. The survey included one question, “As you may know, last week, the president and Congress passed a two-month extension on the payroll tax cuts and unemployment benefits. Looking ahead to the debate on what the government should do as these extensions expire at the end of February, do you have more confidence in- President Obama and the Democrats in Congress or the Republicans in Congress? Phrasing was rotated to list each possible response first an equal number of times. The margin of error was +/-4.
The poll in which respondents were asked to rank yearly performances was conducted by Gallup and USA Today from December 15 to December 18. The sample consisted of 1019 U.S. adults.
All poll results were weighted for demographics, multiple adults in household, and type of phone used.
Click to Read Page Two: Possible Flaws in Payroll Tax Debate Poll
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