A Plurality of Americans Still Want New Stimulus

Given a list of priorities, a plurality of Americans say that a new stimulus bill is the most important thing the next Congress can do after the election. Weird?

Looking Ahead, Which of the Following Should Be the Highest Priority for Congress After the Election? (Closed-Ended Responses: Repealing the New Healthcare Law, Passing a New Economic Stimulus Bill Designed to Create Jobs, Cutting Federal Spending, or Extending All the Federal Income Tax Cuts Enacted During the Bush Administration)

Not so weird. Another way to put this chart in a sentence is: Americans would prefer the government focus on repealing Obamacare and cutting spending by a 47 to 38 margin over new stimulus. That's more or less in line with an election where Republicans took 56 percent of the House of Representatives.

One stat to focus on: Independents are split between Pass New Stimulus (32%) and Cut Federal Spending (28%). Those opposite priorities reflect a divided government with opposite short-term priorities. The White House wants more spending combined with a deficit plan that includes higher taxes. The Republican House wants less spending combined with a deficit plan that doesn't raise taxes a cent. Somebody show me the space for compromise.

I tend to be an optimist, but I don't see wild opportunity for Kumbaya on the budget in the first few months of the new Congress. Some say Congress isn't doing its job reflecting the will of the American people. It is. Congress is reflecting the tortured, convoluted and deeply divided will of the American people, and the reflection looks like gridlock.