CNN Poll: Majority support deal to avert government shutdown
April 11th, 2011
12:39 PM ET
4 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. willard bullock

    I am belived that people or cnn news are keep play games vote poll for obama

    April 11, 2011 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  2. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I would prefer the government to keep working. This shouldn't be too hard for people to understand. It performs functions that the private sector (and the rich) don't or won't do.

    April 11, 2011 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  3. Louis Cardona

    Obama was the grown up here! Its obvious the real stickig point was social issues and he didn't move an inch!GOP is always going to use this tactic from now on. You can bet on it. You know why? Tea party has them scared. LOL....

    April 11, 2011 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  4. herrer

    Perhaps if the democrats where more serious in the first place then we would not have this problem

    April 11, 2011 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  5. read my lips

    When Republicons "win", corporations win and 95% of Americans LOSE.

    So, why do they vote against themselves? ?

    April 11, 2011 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  6. Clwyd

    The key to Paul Ryan's budget is the give more to the rich plan in the budget. Drop the 35% tax rate to the top 5% down to 25% so that middle class Americans can pick up the tab. This is insanity on his part and the republicans! We know already that the republicans have already been bought by the corporations and big business, but now the rich will get into the act!

    April 11, 2011 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  7. Lynne

    I think the democrats were more willing to compromise and work together while the republicans just wanted to take take take.

    April 11, 2011 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  8. Ed

    I never voted just one party but seeing how the GOP has acted since Nov. I am sure going to now. Go Dems

    April 11, 2011 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  9. Danny Wetsel

    Are countrys falling apart we need a president who can focus on bringing us out of debt not drag us further in i wish bill clinton was in office again

    April 11, 2011 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  10. AAA

    The budget debate that was going on for the last few weeks had some luck to pass a few days ago is a good sign for the country. What we are getting tired is polls and majority supports the bill. The problem is that the average person does not understand what is contained in the budget and understand how it is going to affect them. So can we please write or talk in a way the average person can understand. You have the White house coming up with a budget proposal, Boehner had his own proposal backed by his Republican friends and then we have Ryan who has his own backed by the new breed of Republicans who are trying to shake up the Washington runs and implement there own cure to the budget resolution. So what the majority supports has no bearing on the budget because congress is going to pass what they think works for the country irregardless what the people think. We promised to listen to the people works when you are running for office but once you are in there the game changes. Lets not ask only for votes but everyone should be held accountable for there promises. So as elected officials by the people should make sure there work for the average person not for big corporations that are getting fatter/ fatter while a lot of people are scrambling to survive. Also do not cut programs that are beneficial at the expense of balancing the budget. Hope cool minds prevail.

    April 11, 2011 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  11. carrotroot

    The Tea Party Republicans were recklessly determined to shutdown the government over "riders" which had nothing to do with cutting spending. The Republicans even went as far as to use the withholding of our Military service men and women pay as bargaining chips. In the end they got 67% of the budget cuts they requested, and they are still angry they didn't get 100% .... Absolutely disgraceful.

    April 11, 2011 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
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