Lawmakers have issued dire warnings about the possible effects of the cuts, with President Obama saying Monday that "eventually, a lot of people are going to feel some pain." Administration officials have warned that the sequester could cause longer lines at airports, flight cancellations, and reductions in education programs.

But that's also earned some media scrutiny and criticism from Republicans, who say the White House is exaggerating the potential consequences. On Monday, Education Secretary Arne DuncanArne Starkey DuncanObama Education Secretary: US education system is 'top 10 in nothing' Obama Cabinet official: Trump doesn’t want educated workforce Obama Education secretary: DeVos's yacht set adrift a 'crazy metaphor' for her policy MORE apologized for claiming teachers would receive "pink slips" ahead of the cuts.

"When I said 'pink slips' that was probably the wrong word," Duncan told reporters. "Language matters, and I need to be very, very clear."

Still, more Americans blame congressional Republicans for failing to reach a deal before the deadline. Of those surveyed, 38 percent pointed the finger at the GOP, while one-third blamed Obama and 19 percent said both sides equally deserve the blame.

Unsurprisingly, a majority of Republicans (69 percent) blame Democrats, while a majority of Democrats (72 percent) blame Republicans.

In general, Americans prefer that the sequester be replaced by a plan that includes a combination of spending cuts and taxes, with 56 percent of those surveyed favoring that approach. Republicans have said they want to offset the sequester exclusively with budget cuts, an approach favored by 35 percent of respondents.