About two-thirds of Democrats and Republicans want both parties to compromise equally, Gallup said. About one-quarter in each group say the other party should give up more.
If there is no agreement by Jan. 1, steep hikes in tax rates, basically the end of the cuts adopted under President George W. Bush, and across-the-board cuts in federal programs would kick in. More than 80 percent of respondents said avoiding this scenario is either important or very important.
About 34 percent expect neither side to give way.
The USA Today/Gallup poll was conducted Nov. 9-12. Gallup interviewed 1,009 adults by telephone. The margin of error is 3 percentage points.