CNN Poll: Majority support deal to avert government shutdown
April 11th, 2011
12:39 PM ET
3 years ago

CNN Poll: Majority support deal to avert government shutdown

Washington (CNN) – Who won last week's showdown over the federal budget and the government shutdown-that-wasn't?

It looks like the public gives the Democrats more credit for the deal than the Republicans, but it's nothing like the slam-dunk that Bill Clinton scored during the 1995 government shutdown, and it certainly has not been reflected in President Barack Obama's overall approval rating, according to a new national poll.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Monday indicates that the budget agreement that prevented a government shutdown is popular, with Americans supporting it by a 58 to 38 percent margin. But there's a partisan divide, with two-thirds of Democrats and a majority of independent voters backing the deal, and Republicans divided.

Read full results HERE.

By a 48 to 35 percent margin, the public thinks Democrats are more responsible than the GOP for the late Friday night agreement, which prevented a shutdown of some government services and offices. And according to the survey, which was conducted Saturday and Sunday, 54 percent say they approve of how the president handled the budget negotiations, compared to only 44 percent who approve of how the Republican leaders in Congress handled themselves last week.

But this doesn't mean Obama gets a political boost from the deal.

"The president's overall approval rating is now 48 percent; in late March, that figure was 51 percent. This is the first time this year that a CNN poll has found his overall approval rating below 50 percent," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "And although President Obama has a ten-point advantage over the GOP leaders on how their handling of the budget negotiations, that's nothing compared to the 30-point advantage President Bill Clinton had over House Speaker Newt Gingrich after the budget showdown in November, 1995."

Back then, 49 percent approved of how Clinton handled those negotiations; only 19 percent approved of how Gingrich handled the deal making.

Speaking of approval ratings, 41 percent approve of how current House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio is handling his duties. Forty-four percent of people questioned say they disapprove of how Boehner's doing as Speaker, with a relatively high 15 percent sure. Significantly for Boehner, 66 percent of Republicans and 61 percent of Tea Party movement supporters think he is doing a good job as Speaker.

"Nonetheless, the GOP rank and file appears to be a bit restless about Friday's budget agreement, while Democrats don't have the same concerns. Did the GOP leaders give up too much in the budget agreement? Only 25 percent of all Americans think so, but that figure rises to 50 percent among all Republicans," says Holland. "Did Obama and the Democrats in Congress give up too much? Only a third of Democrats feel that way."

What about the non-budgetary issues that suddenly became so important in last week's endgame?

The poll indicates that two-thirds think that the federal government should continue to provide funding to Planned Parenthood, although six in ten continue to oppose using public funds for abortions for women who cannot afford them. Currently, federal law prevents any federal funds from being spent on abortions.

According to the survey, seven in ten think the government should continue to provide funds for the Environmental Protection Agency to enforce regulations on greenhouse gases, and only four in ten would favor legislation to prevent the government from spending money to implement the new health care law that Obama signed last year.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted by telephone, with 824 people questioned. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

-CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report


Filed under: CNN poll • Government Shutdown
soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. ConservaFascists/FUBAR

    The Republicans are divided because the Teatards in their caucus wanted a shutdown. I bet Paul "Privatize" Ryan's proposed 2012 budget will get those Teatards all optimistic inside. I think now is the time for democrats and the President to say enough is enough! The middle class is bearing all the burden while the rich are getting richer. I don't agree with former governor Jesse Ventura on everything, but when he was on Piers Morgan the other night and said this government is fascist, I couldn't agree with him more.

    April 11, 2011 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    Some of the "riders" were irresponsible well beyond common sense.

    Eliminate the EPA and pollution regulations?. So when you are dying from cancer and do not why consider this. Companies can dump what ever, where ever. You will never know why you have cancer. Don't expect the goverment to go out and test the water because the EPA is gone.

    Even if you do find out that you have consumed contaminated drinking water, don't think you can sue somebody. No laws were broken. Your tort claim will not go very far if the company dumped stuff on their own property. If anything, the company in question will simply file a counter suit against you for filing a frivilous claim.

    April 11, 2011 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  3. ted

    OBAMA WON. that is all that matters. The GOP played a game of chicken and got its butt kicked.

    Obama/Biden 2012

    April 11, 2011 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  4. Erik S.

    824 people polled. HA! Sure CNN. That was a win for the tan guy and the tea party, no doubt about it.

    April 11, 2011 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  5. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Gingrich lost to Boehner because he wanted Boehner to follow his failed leadership and shutdown government. I give Boehner credit for competely ignoring Gingrich just like others are doing. Gingrich isn't interested in what's good for the country, Gingrich is interested in Gingrich and will destroy the Republican party by any means necessary.

    April 11, 2011 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  6. Dean

    The Democrats wanted to give no cuts. How do you figure they won?

    April 11, 2011 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  7. Russ

    OK, someone tell me what's wrong with this picture. My wife and I made $178,000.00 last year. After all our deductions, and we don't get many because we're not a corportation, our tax bill was $29,000.00. Fortunately my Fed withholding covered $28,000.00 so I only had to send in an additional $1,000.00. GE had a profit of somewhere in the vicinity of $14,000,000,000.00 and paid $0.00 taxes. How can we balance the budget while crap like this takes place?

    April 11, 2011 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  8. Robert O.

    The budget resolution is simply another example of the difference between how Democrats and Republicans think. Republicans choose conflict and brinkmanship first, whereas Democrats choose compromise and peaceful resolution. Lest we forget, Republicans sold us the War in Iraq because they believe force is the first option on the table, whereas Democrats (pragmatists) believe force is the least attractive option and should always be used last.

    April 11, 2011 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  9. Momo

    If we need to furlough civilian employees to help w/saving our federal budget, then so be it however don't hurt our troops by not paying them.. If that is the case then bring our troops back home and let those other countries take care of their own business and problems, let us concentrate on our own country and our own problems.

    April 11, 2011 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  10. Kevin in Atlanta

    I find it odd that Boehner and Reid respectively continue to say that they are doing the will of the people. When in fact they are doing the will of the extremist that populate the far right and far left of their parties. When the larger majority of the people, those of us in the "middle", continue to scratch our heads wondering what the hell is going on...

    April 11, 2011 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  11. willie floyd

    Are you listening Mr. Boehner? If not, you should be-get off your social issues-you didn't run on them so don't start trying to push them through now.

    April 11, 2011 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  12. Howard

    These CNN polls are ridiculous. CNN must be polling left wing progressive liberals on all their inaccurate biased polls ... just like when they cherry pick reader's comments, and then they conveniently close the comments, before any opposing viewpoints are added.

    April 11, 2011 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  13. LegendRx

    Main stream america just refuse to give credit where it is rightfully due. We the people will always keep our president lifted up . . . as he rightfully deserve. President Barack Obama is a true leader and one of the best president we have seen in a long while. We see ya Barack.

    April 11, 2011 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  14. Len

    I agree totally with this poll. The Democrats did not cave in to the Republicans when it came to the health and wellbeing of woman (Planned Parenthood). Planned Parenthood is a very good organization that provides cancer screenings, nutritional infomation for children etc. To see more go to their web-site if you really want to know about this organization.

    They did not cave in on defunding the EPA....we always hear from the republicans that their regulations pertaining to clean air and water hampers job creation. And then they say we have to cut spending for the future of our children. I think a clean environment is important for our children and grandchildren. The GOP wanted to stop them from regulating so coal and oil companies could make bigger profits.

    The GOP wanted to defund the Pell Grants which help college bound students to attend college or universities. Education should be our number one priority.....that is how we will be competitive in the global economy. Lets educate our children so they get the jobs in America instead of students from other countries because they out perform our students. The Democrats did not cave on this issue.

    If you look at Paul Ryans (R) budget proposal all the cuts again rest on the middle class and poor. With tax breaks for big corporations and individual millionaires and billionaires. Who do not create jobs for Americans.

    I hope the American people will wake up and see the harm that has been done to the middle class in states with GOP governors. I hope we become educated in what actually is been done then what was said in November. Please do not get dupped again in 2012.

    April 11, 2011 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  15. Obama 2012

    Its so great for the Tea Party to see that they have no voice in politics. They hold up signs and rave and rant, but when it comes down to the serious business, they are irrelevant.

    April 11, 2011 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  16. Indiana Voter

    Wow, a CNN poll giving "credit" to the Democrats. What is even more shocking is that the CNN polls are the only polls showing Democrats winning every time. Keep drinking the kool aid CNN viewers.

    April 11, 2011 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  17. I Win!

    I come in first again!

    April 11, 2011 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  18. rusty155

    Me I only think the American people won, because there were No shut down of the Government. The Republican and the Democrats and the President did what the American People expect them to do is Compromise. The American people what Compromise, not one party do better than the other party. That what I don't understand is the Republican say American people wanted us to do this and American people want to do that. No American people want both party too Compromise and only Compromise. No the party sure expect to get everything they want It got to be 50/50 Compromise. And Mr John Boehner don't you let the Tea Party people worry you because I would say about 80% of American people are feed up with the TEA PARTY and the KOCH'S BROTHER. The Tea party going to be shock when 2012 get here. The Tea Party have to go.

    April 11, 2011 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  19. abo42000

    What a crock. CNN, try not to pull a muscle while patting yourself on the back I guess they see the Dems as being more responsible because they actually stayed and voted on this one.

    April 11, 2011 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  20. Rosslaw

    Several easy ways to balance the budget. Take back all stimulus funds from every Republican governor who used them to balnace their state budgets and then publically blasted Obama's stimulus program. Take back the funds at gun point, preferably, in keeping with the 2d amendment.
    All birthers, Tea Baggers, all Republicans on medicare be removed from medicare. It's socialized medicine to them and they'll be happier right up to the time they die from lack of medical care.
    Stop all farm subsidies to Michelle Bachman and anyone who voted for her.
    Ta da! And you thought it would be hard to do.

    April 11, 2011 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  21. a in austin

    This isn't a game about who wins and loses – that's played on the baseball field. The parties need to work together so that the American people win!

    April 11, 2011 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  22. Dwight Stevens

    As a service member I'm pleased with the outcome, but concerned about my future as a member of the Armed Forces.

    April 11, 2011 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  23. mike kerns

    why would anybody in there right mind believe republicans can handle our economy with there proven track record of of economic failure.

    April 11, 2011 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  24. jeh

    Oh please, the president did not even touch this thing. He didn't want to be bothered w/this! Now he wants to propose his own budget plan this wednesday! Someone tell the President his is 2 years to late in the game.

    April 11, 2011 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  25. Allen

    The Tea Party doesn't support this compromise. This poll accurately shows that the Tea Party is not in the mainstream of the American majority.

    April 11, 2011 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
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