NBC/WSJ poll: Nearly two-thirds say not raising debt ceiling would be a serious problem

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With House Republicans set to meet with President Barack Obama to discuss raising the debt limit and ending the government shutdown, a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows that 63 percent of Americans believe refusing to raise the debt ceiling would be a real and serious problem.

That's up from the 55 percent who said this in July 2011, during the last political fight over raising the debt ceiling.

That opinion might explain why House Republicans have proposed temporarily raising the debt limit -- though not ending the government shutdown -- when they meet with the president at the White House.

But there is a partisan divide here: 72 percent of Democrats believe not raising the debt ceiling would be a real and serious problem, versus 57 percent of Republicans and independents who think this.

And there's also a significant split inside the Republican Party: Among Republicans not supporting the Tea Party, 71 percent say not raising the debt ceiling would be a serious problem.

But only 44 percent of Republicans who are Tea Party supporters agree.

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