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February 27, 2013

The sequester? Never heard of it.

(Continued)

WASHINGTON —

(While it is impossible to document via polling, we believe strongly that people have less of a sense for sequestration than they did for the fiscal cliff because it lacks a catchy name. Never underestimate the shallowness of the American public's news consumption habits.)

The sea of numbers above should serve as a reminder that, for most Americans, the sequester doesn't exist. All of the talk about it coming out of Washington about whom to blame is lost on these people — another fight in the nation's capital that they don't believe will have any actual impact in their lives.

(For what it's worth, the poll shows that 45 percent say Republicans in Congress should be blamed for the sequester, while 32 percent blame Obama. That's a far less sizable edge than the 26-point blame-game advantage that Obama enjoyed over congressional GOPers on the fiscal cliff.)

Whether the lack of interest and knowledge regarding the sequester will change once it actually hits later this week remains to be seen, although these numbers suggest it's got a long way to go to even be a relevant issue for most people in the country. A very long way.

The poll was conducted by telephone Feb. 21-24, among a random sample of 1,000 adults. The results have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

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