Countdown, daily news conferences, posturing, rejections. Gridlock and drama. If you were standing on the edge of cliff, this is not what you would want to hear from people who are supposed to help. A new Zogby Poll of 795 likely voters taken December 3-4, shows that the public is ready to compromise and ready to make sacrifices in the process.

If Congressional Republicans agree to increase tax rates, two of three voters (66%) support spending cuts across the federal budget equal to or greater than the projected increase in revenue. Only 25% oppose that. Importantly, it is supported among Democrats (57% to 25%), Republicans (72%-21%), and independents (62%-31%).

A majority of Americans also support means tested for Medicare and Social security (54%-31%) - i.e. those with highest incomes and net worth would pay more for Medicare premiums and receive a smaller monthly Social Security check. Nearly three in five Democrats (59%-27%), and a majority of Republicans (56% to 36%) support this. Only independents are a little squidgy, with 46% saying yes and 51% saying no.

Voters are evenly split on whether or not stimulus spending does more good than harm for the US economy. Democrats say it does more good by a huge margin, 73% to 15%, while both Republicans (17% more good-76% more harm) and independents (40% more good, 51% more harm) are cool towards it. But our poll question included only a straight up choice without pointing out any specific spending programs like infrastructure, school renovations, or alternative energy development. For now, the notion of big spending programs has its opposition. Yet, when we asked what policy would help the US economy most in the long term, 19% chose increasing tax rates for the wealthy, 33% selected a decrease in government spending, but 43% said only a combination of both would do the trick.

What if Republicans refuse to negotiate a deal on the fiscal cliff because they feel that any tax increase would do more harm than good? Thirty-seven percent said this would seen as principled and patriotic, but 45% would judge it as partisan.

Despite the fact that voters are split on these and so many other issues, there is an emerging consensus here that there must be a deal. In fact, the elements of a compromise are supported here - a combination of tax rate increases on those with the highest incomes and a significant (but focused) program of budget cuts. While voters are split ideologically, they do know when someone has lost an election and what the losing side needs to do. They also know that ignoring this "fiscal cliff" is not an answer. It could be they are tired of the bickering but it definitely does not mean that Americans are not ready to make some sacrifices. Americans make sacrifices every day and they know they will have to again.