Fewer than half the Republicans polled were found to favor continuing the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy, and there was found to be a reluctance to trim social security, medicare or defense programs, which constituted three of the biggest drivers of federal spending.

Currently, social security, medicare and defense account for just over half the US$3.8 trillion the government is projected to spend this year.

48% of the poll respondents said that tax cuts should expire in January 2013, on earnings over US$250,000 but continue for lower incomes, while an additional 32% said that the tax cuts should continue for everybody, which has been the view of Republican. 13% said that the tax cuts dating back to 2001 and 2003 should end for all.

In the poll, 46% to 30% were found to be favoring cutting government services to raising taxes in order to tackle budget deficits.

Meanwhile, the support for trimming government services has dropped in AP-GfK polls. While it was 56% last February, in March 2011 it was 62%.

By 48% to 40%, more oppose proposals to gradually raise the eligibility age for Medicare from 65. And only 3 in 10 supported slowing the growth of annual social security benefits. More people were found to oppose than favor cutting military spending.