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57 percent of Americans say they understand the 'fiscal cliff'

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Politicians can’t agree on anything. News coverage is often shrill, faulty and alarming. Nevertheless, a healthy majority of Americans insist they understand the “fiscal cliff” and all its catastrophic glory.

So says a Pew Research Center poll revealing that 57 percent of the public say they understand the implications of “going over the fiscal cliff.” Sixty one percent of Republicans and 58 percent of Democrats agree with this.

We’re not quite as sure, however, about the outcome.

The poll also reveals that 49 percent of Americans overall say President Obama and Republicans in Congress will not reach a deal on the fiscal cliff. The inevitable partisan divide emerges: 69 percent of Republicans and 36 percent of Democrats also say the deal is out of reach.

The survey of 1,003 U.S. adults was conducted Nov. 29-Dec. 2.

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