The sequestration that went into effect on March 1 does not
appear to be a major issue for most Americans. At least, not according to the available evidence measuring public attitudes that
I have seen.
We have tracked a set of two questions four times since March 1 -- one asking if the sequestration has been a good thing or a bad thing for the country and another asking the same question about “you personally.” Both questions include the stated alternative: “...or don’t you know enough to say?”
This question shows a 16-percentage-point higher “negative” response on the impact of the sequester on the country than the Gallup question. But there are differences in the question phrasing. For one thing, the New York Times/CBS News question explicitly mentions that the sequester resulted from a failure of the president and Congress to agree on a plan to reduce the deficit. This is in and of itself adds a negative tone to the question -- since Americans want their elected officials to cooperate. This phrasing also reminds people that the deficit was not reduced.