Alex Witt   |  March 02, 2013

Poll results show interest in spending cuts

The latest NBC News / Wall Street Journal poll shows Americans have interest in spending cuts but a majority feel the sequester is a bad idea. NBC’s Mark Murray reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> good morning. the sequester is here. the latest nbc news poll finds that while president obama still has a healthy approval rating , this latest in a spring of bitter debates has taken a big toll in the public's confidence for our future. joining me now nbdz senior political editor mark murray . good to see you so early, sir.

>> good morning, craig .

>> something i found interesting in this poll, while the majority of people seem to think the spending cuts are a bad idea, the majority also thinks that congress should keep the current cuts, if not increase them, to deal with the deficit. how can we reconcile those numbers?

>> overall, the nbc news/" wall street journal " poll was bad to. particularly for president obama and democrats. craig , this is good news for the poll. it shows there's an appetite for spending cuts only 14% said they want the sequester cuts but an additional 39% said they even want more. you add that up together that's a healthy 53%.

>> let's talk about the president's approval rating right now. he has been declining steadily over the past few months. it seems according to our poll at least. how much of a certain is that for midterm elections at this point?

>> i don't think it's a concern right now. what you're seeing that president obama 's honeymoon is kind of a little bit over right now after his re-election. after his inaugural address , after the state of the union . so his numbers went up after these events. now, they're starting to come back down. his approval rating still is at 50%, as you mention. that's very healthy. but democrats when you look ahead to 2014 , the difference between success and failure is probably president obama being closer to 50%. that's very good news for democrats. him around 45% isn't good news.

>> this poll, of course, was taken before the cuts went in effect yesterday. do we expect any major changes of opinion once folks start to feel some of the pain?

>> absolutely. our pollsters caution that numbers can significantly change, craig , over the next few weeks, if these cuts impact people. if they are felt. now, we do know that a lot of these cuts aren't going to go into effectual at least end of this month, early april. if people do feel these things, these numbers can change in a heartbeat. so while this poll came out before these cuts went in effect, numbers certainly can change.

>> nbc news senior political editor mark murray , good to see you, sir.

>> thanks.