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Most voters support tax hike for wealthy

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Voters support higher taxes on the wealthy by better than 2 to 1, according to a new poll.

Sixty-five percent of voters back increased taxes for American families making more than $250,000 a year, while 31 percent are opposed, the Quinnipiac University poll found. Democrats support that measure 84-14 percent, and independents are in favor of the tax hikes 66-31 percent. Republicans, on the other hand, oppose such tax increases 53-41 percent, according to the poll released Thursday.

The survey comes as lawmakers struggle to hammer out a deal that would fend off the looming "fiscal cliff."

President Barack Obama, trying to put a personal touch on negotiations, visited a family's basement apartment in Falls Church, Va., on Thursday to press his hard line on tax-rate increases for the wealthy.

"We're in the midst of the Christmas season," Obama said. "I think the American people are counting on this getting solved. The closer it gets to the brink, the more stress there is going to be."

Obama and lawmakers have until the end of the year to avert across-the-board spending cuts and tax increases.

Republican leaders have agreed to back increased tax revenue. Yet, despite some rank-and-file defections, they have balked so far at Obama's demand that rates rise on income over $200,000 for individuals and $250,000 for couples.

Republicans have also called for spending cuts and measures to slow the growth of benefit programs.

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