Poll: Most think not raising debt ceiling would harm nation

More than half the country thinks it would be bad for the country if Congress doesn't raise the debt ceiling, according to a new poll. 

Fifty-six percent said not raising the debt ceiling would be a bad thing, while 36 percent said it would be a good thing, according to a CNN/ORC International poll released Wednesday.

The Treasury Department has set an Oct. 17 deadline for Congress to raise the debt ceiling. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew says it would be difficult to pay the nation's bills after that date, meaning a failure by Congress to act could cause the first ever U.S. default. 

If Congress doesn't raise the debt ceiling, 53 percent of people would blame Congress, while about 30 percent would blame President Obama, the poll found. 

Republicans are expected to demand steep spending cuts for any hike to the borrowing limit, and some have called for adding language to stop ObamaCare. President Obama has said he would not negotiate on the debt ceiling. 

By a 51 percent to 31 percent margin, people surveyed by CNN said it’s more important to raise the debt ceiling than to delay ObamaCare. 

A CNN poll from Tuesday said, however, less than one in five people in the U.S. say their families would be better off with the new healthcare law. 

Most of the latest polls also indicate most Americans either don’t understand ObamaCare or don’t know much about it. 

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