Poll: Americans split on shutdown blame game
April 4th, 2011
03:57 PM ET
4 years ago

Poll: Americans split on shutdown blame game

Washington (CNN) – Americans are divided over whether President Barack Obama or congressional Republicans would shoulder more of the blame if there's a government shutdown later this week, according to a new national poll.

A Pew Research Center survey released Monday indicates that 39 percent of the public say Republicans in Congress would be more to blame for a shutdown of some government services and offices, with 36 percent saying the Obama administration, and 16 percent saying both sides would shoulder the blame.

The numbers are little changed from a Pew poll conducted in late February. A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey conducted in early March indicated that 46 to 37 percent margin, Americans said the GOP in Congress would be more responsible than Obama for a government shutdown.

The poll's release comes four days before current funding for the government runs out. If there is no budget agreement between congressional lawmakers by Friday, some government programs and offices may shut down.

Fifty-six percent of people questioned in the Pew poll say they want federal lawmakers to be more willing to compromise, even if it means they pass a budget they disagree with, while only 36 percent say members of Congress should stand by their principles, even if it leads to a shutdown.

The survey indicates a partisan divide, with half of Republicans saying lawmakers should stand by their principles. Meanwhile 53 percent of independent voters and nearly seven in ten Democrats say lawmakers should compromise to prevent a shutdown.

The Pew Research Center poll was conducted March 30-April 3, with 1,507 adults nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.


Filed under: Budget • Poll
soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. ThinkAgain

    The fault lies squarely with the Republicans.

    In 2008, President Obama was elected, along with Democratic majorities in the House and Senate. The Republicans have spent every waking moment since then, trying to make our president, and by extension, our country fail.

    Republicans love to flap their lips about "the will of the people," but they disregarded it in 2008 and continue to do so now.

    They have shown time and again, that all they are interested in is

    – continuing to transfer wealth upward by cutting taxes for the rich

    – stoking the fires of fear, hatred and division among our people

    – and doing everything they can to make things so bad for the average American and blaming President Obama, that voters out of desperation and fear will vote the Republicans back into power.

    It is DESPICABLE what the GOP has become. They have no values, they are morally bankrupt, their success depends on people's fear, ignorance and hatred.

    If our government should shut down, it will be the Republicans' fault. Plain and simple!

    April 4, 2011 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  2. ConservaFascists/FUBAR

    Fifty-six percent of people questioned in the Pew poll say they want federal lawmakers to be more willing to compromise, even if it means they pass a budget they disagree with, while only 36 percent say members of Congress should stand by their principles, even if it leads to a shutdown.
    -------------------------------------------------–

    The keyword is COMPROMISE. COMPROMISE is NOT part of the Teatard vocabulary. Therefore if you want to know who wants a shutdown, it's the fringe of those on the right. It's their way or no way and that's NOT how you govern.

    April 4, 2011 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    I don't think most people are as concerned about placing blame as you and your poll may think they are. They are not as concerned over who spilled the milk as they are with the trouble and aggravation of having to clean it up. Particularly when the whole situation can be so easily avoided.

    There are times when congressional members need to act their age and not their hat size. Maybe these budget fights is what the ancient Mayans where forecasting on the stone tablet. You think? These battles will only be worse in 2012 than what we see now in 2011. First, we need to make to 2011 without too bumps and bruises.

    April 4, 2011 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  4. RiffRaff

    Wow! Seriously? Obama's fault that Congress controls the budget? Obama's fault that Congress can't get a darn thing done because they cant keep their mouths shut long enough to actually do some work? They have no idea what to do. All of the economists-yes even conservative-say now is not the time to cut the budget,it will cause a DEPRESSION in this shaky recovery. But the repubs promised the crazies HUGE cuts without compromise,and now they're screwed.

    April 4, 2011 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  5. Don

    If the budget proposal on the table is really $33M in cuts, it is a significant compromise on both sides. it will only break down if Boehner gives in to the "do not compromise" wing of his party. This will not be a case of "both sides share the blame".

    And "blame" it should be – there's nothing desireable about a shutdown. Not reported in this article is that Republican respondants usually want a shutdown; Democratic and Independant respondants do not. Any shutdown will be entirely driven by the extreme right wing of the Republican party, and it will cause many more problems than it solves.

    April 4, 2011 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  6. Lynda/Minnesota

    Poor JohnBoy just doesn't know which way the winds blowing on this issue. Hint: If I were he, I wouldn't use a PEW poll in any decisions I was making on a national level. Good luck, GOPers. Especially once Paul Ryan's NEW budget is revealed.

    April 4, 2011 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  7. Patrick from Minnesota

    If Republicans and tea baggers had any brains (which they apparently don't), they would try to avoid a shutdown at all costs. Sure they remember '94, but do they remember '96...

    April 4, 2011 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  8. terry,va

    How can anyone blame the repubs? Obummie and his band of fools didn't bring this years budget up until 4-5 months into the budget year. Repubs are holding Obummie's feet to the fire after his own debt commission said we are on the path to financial ruin, yet Obummie and his band of fools ignores the commission and keeps handing out to all the deadbeats that will vote for him. It will be hard for the repubs to kick Obummie out when half of the country have their hand out waiting on his welfare. Mission accomplished Obummie, you have turned us into not ask what you can do for our country, but what can the country do for me.

    April 4, 2011 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  9. ConservaFascists/FUBAR

    @ DemoCommunists for a Better Way who said "NO JOBS"

    Au contrare mu frere. 12+ months of job growth. I know the truth is hard to swallow. Republicans got sworn in January of THIS YEAR. They have not contributed to the job growth we've seen. Where is their job plan? It looks like they're more focused on cutting jobs than creating them.

    April 4, 2011 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  10. JD

    This is directed at DemoCommunists for a Better Way – Steal the Wealth, Bankrupt America, Blame the "rich" (people who work)
    Rich people are the only ones that work? You are way out of touch with reality. Most rich people rarely lift a finger and do real work. Steal the wealth? From what I see the rich have done a fine job of that.. Stealing it from everyone else and claiming it was hard work that got them there. Your comment has to be a joke or you are a complete idiot.

    April 4, 2011 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  11. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    hmmmmm....let me guess on this one, Those who support the Republicans will blame it on the Democrats and those who support the Democrats will blame it on the Republicans. Am I close to getting it right?

    April 4, 2011 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  12. BlackPanthers2020

    GOP=greed over people , please remember this when it's time to vote !!!!1

    April 4, 2011 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  13. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    There is room for compromise but do the Republicans want to do that? I don' think so. They're being held hostage by the Tea baggers. Confidentially, I don't think these Tea party folks have ever drunk any tea.

    April 4, 2011 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  14. California Conservative

    It's very obvious that the demcorats are going back to their old ways of "tax & spend". Democrats only concern is how to get more entitlements for themselves. Obama's already stated any and all opposition is "the enemy" and even called some of those opponents racist. The great divider is anything but a leader. The new party of NO (as in no we're not going to cut anything) will whine that it's the fault of everyone else but themselves.

    April 4, 2011 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  15. MAC

    How are the democrats going to pay for what they want to keep. I am not willing to pay more taxes for the poor and public union workers to have a better life than I do.

    April 4, 2011 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  16. leona

    "The keyword is COMPROMISE. COMPROMISE is NOT part of the Teatard vocabulary. " ........ REALLY ? If your spouse max'd out his/her credit card..........would you compromise and spend more ???? You LIBS make NO sense and have NO COURAGE. Tea Party (TP) = Tax Payers (TP) !!

    April 4, 2011 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  17. In This Together

    Remember we are all Americans and can not fully function without each other.

    April 4, 2011 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  18. Name

    We dont need big government in our lives anyways

    April 4, 2011 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  19. The Greedy Old Pigs have declared war on YOU!

    The blame clearly falls mostly on the extremist GOBPbagger side. Too bad there are few adults left in that party who can organize and discipline the unruly children currently trying to run the show.

    April 4, 2011 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    The answer can be foudn right here:

    "hundreds of thousands of government employees are likely to be furloughed, and their paychecks stopped..."

    Paychecks stopped...AND ALONG WITH THEM, THEIR UNION DUES. Simple. Question answered. Can you follow along? Who wants ia shutdown and why?

    BTW: "If Republicans and tea baggers had any brains (which they apparently don't), they would try to avoid a shutdown at all costs. Sure they remember '94, but do they remember '96..."

    They remember all right...and if you look at what people like Newtered have said, it's gone from him admitting is was a comlpete disaster, debacle, fiasco, etc., in the late 90's to recently claiming it was a bold and ingenius master stroke that benefitted the country by magically forcing Clinton to balance the budget (i.e., more flip-floppery from Newtered...quite literally based on his explicit statements). He's also been advising the GOP to "make the Dems own the shutdown" over teh past week, tipping his hand that he and many others in the teatarded mess called the GOP believe that they can "win" it this time...while, of course, the middle-class and poor LOSE.

    April 4, 2011 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  21. Charlie in Maine

    As long as the GOP gets it's marching orders from the Tea Party instead of real Americans they can' help but shut down the "Gummint". How's that goin fer ya America?

    April 4, 2011 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  22. Tonyd0311

    Republicans only drive the country into the ground faster than Democrats and drive up the debt, thats why I vote for the democrats. Anyways, until Republicans stop sleeping with corporations and letting corporations dictate the affairs of the people, thats we way it will be.

    April 4, 2011 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  23. Sniffit

    "You LIBS make NO sense and have NO COURAGE."

    You're right, but not why you think. It's because the only thing that makes even remote sense is raising taxes on the ultra-wealthy and closing corporate loopholes, but NOBODY has the balls to stand up and say it. At least the Dems are refusing to do it because their chickensh-ts tho....that's a whole lot better than wearing standard issue Republican knee-pads and climbing under the CEOs' desks.

    April 4, 2011 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  24. California Conservative

    Using the term "extremist" extreme" or whatever other variation that the demcorats caucus has instructed it's parrots to squawk is pointless. You democrats know what you can do with your "talking points".

    April 4, 2011 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  25. Marie MD

    Sorry folks but the rethug eight nightmarish years of the shrub tanked the country. The rethugs run on what they think people want to believe then when they are in power they turn on everything they said and just work for themselves and their rich friends.
    Niot every promise can be kept because you have to jump through hoops (like the President has been doing with 2009) but when you have elected officials that are more interested in making money from their lobbyist friends and the koch brothers than what they were elected to do then it's time to throw them out!!

    April 4, 2011 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
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