According to a pair of public opinion polls, the majority of Americans want lawmakers in Congress to work together. But hope is diminishing that they'll be able to reach an agreement to avoid the so-called "fiscal cliff."
One survey, by NORC, an independent research arm of the University of Chicago, found that 79 percent of Americans want their representatives to make compromises.
“We found that a majority of Americans overwhelmingly prefer that their own representatives in D.C. work with others and make compromises, even compromises that include policies that they dislike," said Kirk Wolter, NORC's executive vice president.
That could prove telling as the country moves toward January's self-imposed deadline of drastic cuts and tax hikes.
According to information released Wednesday by Gallup, just 50 percent of those polled said they think President Barack Obama and Congress were at least somewhat likely to reach a budget compromise. That's down from a high of 59 percent on Dec. 9.
An increasing number, 48 percent, said they predict the country will go over the "fiscal cliff."
Obama cut short his holiday break and left Hawaii on Wednesday in advance of a Senate session on Thursday.
Starbucks' CEO urged workers in roughly 120 Washington-area shops to write "come together" on customers' cups on Thursday and Friday.