Poll: 77 percent say Obama, Congress acted like 'spoiled children' in debt fight

President Obama and leaders in Congress behaved like "spoiled children" in the debt-ceiling debate, the vast majority of Americans said in a new CNN poll released Tuesday.

U.S. adults expressed a sour opinion toward all the players involved in reaching an agreement that includes two phases of spending cuts in exchange for raising the nation's borrowing authority, which came at the end of weeks of rancorous debate.

Seventy-seven percent of Americans said elected officials in Washington had behaved like "spoiled children" in their recent dealings with the debt ceiling; just 17 percent said that they had behaved like responsible adults.

The House approved the debt deal struck over the weekend in a bipartisan vote on Monday; the Senate is expected to follow suit early Tuesday afternoon.

But the deal isn't necessarily popular: Fifty-two percent of Americans said they disapproved of the agreement, based on what they had heard of the accord. Forty-four percent expressed approval.

The poll suggests that the credit — or blame — for the deal would be shouldered somewhat equally by Obama, his Democratic allies in Congress and the Republicans who pushed for spending cuts and against tax increases.

More Americans — 43 percent — credited Republicans for the deal than they did Obama and Democrats in Congress, whom 34 percent of Americans said were more responsible for the deal.

But Americans gave each group negative marks. Sixty-eight percent of Americans expressed disapproval of the way Republican leaders in Congress handled debt-ceiling negotiations, 63 percent disapproved of Democratic leaders in Congress, and 53 percent expressed disapproval of Obama's role in the talks.

The CNN poll, conducted Aug. 1 by Opinion Research, has a 3.5 percent margin of error.