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Sequester and public opinion? Advantage Obama. (+video)

With just days until the 'sequester' and its automatic spending cuts kicks in, President Obama seems to have the advantage with high poll ratings and a message seen as more compelling.

Correspondent Liz Marlantes with insights into the politics behind the impending spending cuts.
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A batch of recent headlines gives an indication of where things stand in the Obama-Republican face-off over sequestration and the automatic government spending cuts that could kick in next Friday.

“GOP losing sequester blame game”

Democrats' Economic Narrative Still Trumps GOP's”

“Poll: President Obama approval highest since '09”

“President Obama’s popularity surges to three-year high”

“Congress Approval Holding Steady at 15 percent.”

RECOMMENDED: Sequester 101: What happens if $85 billion in cuts hit on March 1

Polls and pundits aren’t everything, of course. Most Americans this weekend likely are far more interested in Sunday night’s Oscar extravaganza.

And most would likely agree with Atlantic associate editor Matthew O'Brien when he writes – with as much truth as irony – on the magazine’s web site: “There is nothing more tedious in the world today than the sequester. The word itself sounds like a prescription sleeping aid.” There is, after all the gnashing of teeth over the “fiscal cliff” last month, a bit of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” here for most people.

Still, if the sequester kicks in, thousands of federal workers could be furloughed, some national park programs could be curtailed, and things could be “very painful for the flying public,” as Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood warned Friday.

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