Poll: Public split over govt. shutdown blamegame
March 1st, 2011
08:12 AM ET
3 years ago

Poll: Public split over govt. shutdown blamegame

Washington (CNN) - A new poll suggests that Americans are divided over whom to blame if there's a government shutdown.

Thirty-six percent of the public says congressional Republicans would be at fault if the two political parties can't reach a deal in time to avoid a temporary shutdown of federal government services, with 35 percent saying they'd blame President Obama's administration, according to a Washington Post-Pew Research Center survey released Tuesday. Seventeen percent questioned say both sides would be equally at blame.

The poll indicates that independent votes would blame the president by a 37-32 percent margin.

The results of the survey are in line with a USA Today/Gallup survey released last Thursday, which indicated that the public is divided over whether Obama and Democrats or Republicans in Congress are doing a better job in the battle over the federal budget. Forty-two percent of people questioned in that poll said that Republicans are doing a better job handling the budget crisis, with 39 percent giving the nod to the president and Democrats. Sixteen percent are unsure. The GOP's 3-point advantage was within the survey's sampling error.

By a 37-33 percent margin, independent voters questioned in the USA Today/Gallup poll said that Republicans are doing a better job.

The House and Senate are expected to approve a short-term bill this week that would avert a government shutdown until at least March 18, but the compromise could be only a temporary reprieve in the battle between Democrats and Republicans over spending cuts.

According to the survey, nearly six in ten say congressional Republicans are playing politics, with one in three saying they are honestly trying to resolve the budget issue. By a 49-47 percent margin, those questioned say the Obama administration's playing politics rather than honestly trying to solve the budget issue.

The Washington Post-Pew Research Center poll was conducted February 24-27, with 1,009 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

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Filed under: Budget • Polls
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. HJA

    The Repubs said they would do everything to give Obama rtroubles. They weren't kidding. Nothing new here.

    March 1, 2011 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  2. terry, va

    The dumbocraps are clearly at fault for not wanting to cut the wasteful spending. Obummie is all smoke and mirrors on anything he says or does. He appointed a budget reduction commission and then doesn't follow one suggestion they made. I really don't care who ends up getting the blame as long as government gets shut down if no meaningful cuts are made. DC is nothing but thieves and only exist because they take money from the people. For once I would like to see the money taken from me spent the way any responsible household would spend it.

    March 1, 2011 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  3. Jason

    Who cares who they blame? They need to stop being so damn stubborn and resolve this issue. Maybe if Congress wasn't on their week long president's day vacation last week we would be further along in fixing this problem.
    And if the govnerment DOES get shutdown, Congress needs to be the first to have their paychecks stopped. They had months to solve this problem but instead they are worrying on whether or not NASCAR is still going to be sponsored by the military. Give me a break.

    March 1, 2011 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  4. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I think that the blame should be laid at the House GOP first and foremost. They wanted to cut too much too fast. They aren't thinking about jobs or what the government spending actually supports.

    March 1, 2011 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  5. steve from puyallup. WA.

    OK PEOPLE.. if they "shut down' the govt. it is in name only........ COME ON... ..ssn checks will still go out and medicade will still be paid.. so whats the big deal.. close a few museums??? wowowowow dont send out those checks.... that will mean a govt. shutdown... but most americans are lemmings... so have a good time.. GET RID OF SSN.... BIGGEST WELFARE PROGRAM GOING>> LESS GOVT> GET OUT OF MY RETIREMENT.

    March 1, 2011 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  6. donkey party

    There is NO controversey, the GOP is FOR shutting down the government, the Democrats are AGAINST it. PERIOD.

    March 1, 2011 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  7. Peter E

    And what if the federal government shut down? Would you know the difference?
    Okay, so we do need postal service, air traffic control, secruity, food inspection, and dozens of other essential services.
    But would it really make a difference if Congress wasn't in session? They take three months of on 'recess' each year anyway, and the rest of the time they bicker, or pass meaningless resolutions, not getting anything done.
    Let the essential parts of the federal government continue. Congress is NOT essential.

    March 1, 2011 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  8. duke

    Everything is the presidents fault,we get it!
    I want to know where are the jobs?and where was all this small government,we hate the government talk at from 2000 to 2008?
    The republicans are in lock step with hardliners of the middle east,
    Both are extremely conservative,
    Both don't believe in women's rights,
    And they both believe in dictators in permanent power ie(karl rove's quest for a permanent majority)(they already have the supreme court and they have the capital invested in the right places to move us toward there middle eastern counterparts style of living!

    March 1, 2011 10:43 am at 10:43 am |