House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio looks to call on a reporter during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Nov. 9, 2012. Boehner said any deal to avert the so-called fiscal cliff should include lower tax rates, eliminating special interest loopholes and revising the tax code. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)  National Journal

A majority of Americans are skeptical that the White House and Congress will avoid the fiscal cliff before January, according to a new Washington Post-Pew Research Center poll.

Of those polled, 51 percent said the parties involved will not forge a compromise in time, while 38 percent remained optimistic they would. And, 68 percent thought going over the cliff will have a major effect on the economy.

About 44 percent said the spending cuts and tax increases that will kick in unless Congress acts would have a major effect on their personal finances. Another 38 percent said it would have a minor effect, while 9 percent said it would have no effect at all.

If negotiations do fail, Americans would blame Republicans in Congress over President Obama, 53 percent to 29 percent. Ten percent of those polled said both would be to blame.

The poll was conducted between Nov. 8 and Nov. 11 among 1,000 adults. It has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.

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