If the outcome of November's general election wasn't enough of a wake-up call for Republicans, here's something else they should be taking seriously.

A USA Today/Pew Research Center poll reveals that just 22 percent of U.S. voters now consider themselves Republicans, that they consider the budget deficit the issue most pressing, and half say they will view congressional Republicans as responsible (compared with less than a third who would blame President Obama) if the impending sequester hits. Given those numbers and current voter climate, the GOP should prioritize making a deal -- and spare the nation some devastating cuts.