By a margin of 45 to 37, American adults would prefer Congress pass legislation this week to avoid the budget cuts scheduled to land on March 1, instead of simply allowing the cuts - known as "sequestration" - to go into effect as scheduled, according to a new poll from Gallup.
In addition, 60 percent of respondents told Gallup they were following the news about the automatic budget cuts "very or somewhat closely," while 38 percent said they were following the cuts "not too or not at all closely."
Those following the news closely, by a margin of 50 to 41, said Congress should avoid the cuts, while those not following the news closely, by a margin of 39 to 31, said the cuts should be allowed to go into effect.
The cuts, totaling $85 billion in fiscal year 2013, are scheduled to land on March 1 unless Congress passes an alternative the president is willing to sign. Key congressional leaders have said in the last several days that they are not optimistic that a deal to avert the cuts will materialize before the deadline.
Gallup's poll, based on a survey of 1,017 American adults conducted between February 25 and 26, had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.