Publicly the biggest demand from President Obama in the fiscal cliff was to increase tax rates on the wealthy while Republicans’ stated goal was to keep taxes on the rich at their current level. So it is not surprising a deal that ended up raising taxes on the rich was seen as a victory for Obama. According to Pew Research, by a greater than two-to-one margin, Americans think Obama won the negotiation. From Pew:
In addition to being seen as the losers in the recent deal, the American people also strongly disapproved of how Republican leaders handled the negotiations. Americans approved of Obama’s handling by 48 percent to 40 percent disapproval. By comparison, only 19 percent approved of how Republican leaders handled the negotiations, while 66 percent disapproved.
This may have some real implications for the next round of debt related negotiations which are guaranteed to take place in two months. Republican leaders may feel they have something to prove after being perceived as been bested.