ATF poll: Majority will blame Republicans if all Bush tax cuts expire A new poll by Hart Research's Geoff Garin, conducted for Americans for Tax Fairness â a group that wants the Bush-era tax cuts to end for those who earn more than $250,000 â found that a majority of voters cited changing the tax system as a key factor in their votes, and that the majority broke for President Barack Obama. The survey also found that Democrats have changed the landscape on an issue that has eluded them for years â taxes. The survey found that most want the Bush-era cuts on top earners to expire, but that Republicans will shoulder blame if all of the Bush cuts, including those on the middle class, expire because a deal can't be reached. From the memo, 67 percent of voters said "the goal of tax fairness" was a consideration in their vote, and 58 percent of them backed Obama, while 40 percent backed Romney. Also per the memo, 61 percent say they agree with Obama's position on extending the tax cuts for all but the top two percent of earners, and by a 15-point margin they will blame Republicans if a deal can't be reached. The memo is here. The polling survey is here, and a compilation of other data throughout the cycle on this issue is here. "The important takeaway from this research is that President Obama has the upper hand in this debate with the Republicans about whether or not to continue the Bush tax breaks for the top two percent, that on the merits, a subsantial majority of voters agree with his position that not only should the tax cut for the top two percent be eliminated, but he would veto any effort to extend it," Garin said in an interview. "What it means at the end politically is that this is a fight where the Republicans are playing a losing hand and, if they choose to play their hand to the bitter end, the voters are crystal clear they're much more likely to blame the Republicans than President Obama for the consequences," he said. "Clearly, it appears there are a lot of Republicans who learned the wrong lessons from 2012 or no lessons at all, but there's no question the president stands on very, very stong grounds here and the Republicans are in quicksand." Frank Clemente, the head of ATF, said, "I think there is a sea change that has occurred" in public opinion. Some Republicans, as Jonathan Martin reported from the RGA meeting in Las Vegas today, are softening from their hard line on this issue in the wake of the 2012 election results, not only in the presidential race, but in the Senate contests in which GOPers took a pounding.