Poll: 70 percent of Republicans oppose debt-limit increase

A new Gallup poll released Friday found an overwhelming majority of Republicans opposed to any increase in the federal debt limit.

Seventy percent of Republicans surveyed said they want their member of Congress to oppose a debt-limit increase, compared to just 8 percent in support.

Overall, Gallup found 47 percent of Americans opposed to an increase in the debt ceiling, with just 19 percent in favor of one. Another 34 percent said they don't know enough about the issue to register an opinion.

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The findings underscore the pressure Republican leaders face in the ongoing debt-limit debate. Grassroots conservatives and Tea Party activists have upped the pressure on House Republicans to oppose any increase in the debt ceiling in recent weeks. 

Republicans are the most engaged by far in the debt-limit debate, according to the Gallup numbers.

Overall, just 21 percent of Republicans said they weren't following the issue enough to offer an opinion, compared to 40 percent of Democrats and 40 percent of independents who said the same.

Sixty-six percent of Republicans also said they're following the issue closely, compared to 51 percent of Democrats and 53 percent of independents. 

Democrats who registered an opinion on the debt limit were in favor of raising the ceiling, 33 percent to 26.

Congressional leaders and the White House are trying to work toward an agreement on raising the debt ceiling, with Republicans demanding that President Obama agree to sizable spending cuts.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters Thursday he will oppose raising the limit unless Democrats commit to cuts in entitlements, specifically Medicare and Medicaid.

The debt limit currently stands at $14.3 trillion, and the White House wants a $2 trillion increase by early August.  

Vice President Joe Biden, who is leading the White House effort on Capitol Hill to reach agreement on raising the debt limit, said Thursday that everything is on the table, including tax increases and cuts to entitlements. 

The Gallup poll surveyed 1,018 adults from May 5-8 and has a margin of error of 4 percentage points.