A Pew Research Center/Washington Post poll released late Monday showed most Americans believe that the automatic across-the-board spending cuts scheduled to take effect on Friday will have an adverse effect on both the economy and the military, even if few are following the ongoing fiscal debate closely.
Sixty-percent of Americans said the sequester will have a major effect on the economy, and 55 percent said the automatic cuts would have a significant effect on the military. A plurality of 45 percent said the cuts will have a major effect on the budget deficit, but only 30 percent said their personal finances would be affected in a major way.
In an effort to drive home the potential consequences of the automatic spending cuts, President Barack Obama appeared with first responders last week and is scheduled to visit a Virginia-based shipbuilder on Tuesday – two industries that could be hurt unless a deal is agreed to before Friday's deadline. But Tuesday's poll also showed that only a quarter of Americans are following the debate closely.