CNN Shutdown Poll: Plenty of blame to go around
October 7th, 2013
04:03 PM ET
6 months ago

CNN Shutdown Poll: Plenty of blame to go around

Washington (CNN) - Most Americans say the government shutdown is causing a crisis or major problems for the country, according to a new national poll.

And while a CNN/ORC International survey also indicates that slightly more people are angry at Republicans than Democrats or President Barack Obama for the shutdown, it is clear that both sides are taking a hit.

The poll, conducted over the weekend, was released on Monday, nearly one week into the partial shutdown over a push by tea party backed GOP lawmakers trying to dismantle or defund Obama's signature health care reform law.

According to the poll, 63% of those questioned say they are angry at the Republicans for the way they have handled the shutdown.

"But the Democrats are not getting off scot-free. Fifty-seven percent of Americans are also angry at the way the Democrats are dealing with the shutdown. And a 53% majority say they are also angry at President Obama," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "It looks like there is more than enough blame to go around and both parties are being hurt by the shutdown."

The CNN poll results are similar to those from a new Pew Research Center poll also released Monday and surveys from Gallup and CBS News/New York Times surveys conducted last week, which indicate slightly more people blaming - or angry at - Republicans than Democrats or the president for the shutdown.

Not surprisingly, huge majorities of Democrats are angry at the Republicans, and huge majorities of Republicans are angry at Obama and Democrats. Independents are equally angry at all sides, with 59% of Independents very or somewhat angry at the Democrats, six in 10 angry at the GOP, and 58% angry at Obama.

The poll indicates that 18% of the public says the shutdown is a crisis and an additional 49% say the shutdown has caused major problems.

"That's a higher level of worry than in November 1995, when the government shut down because the Democrats, led by President Bill Clinton, and the Republicans, led by House Speaker Newt Gingrich, could not agree on funding. In 1995, 12% felt the shutdown at that time was causing a crisis and 44% thought it was a major problem," adds Holland.

The two-thirds who say the shutdown is causing a crisis or major problems is similar to the seven in 10 who said the same thing in the Gallup poll.

According to the CNN survey, Democrats are most concerned about the shutdown, although a majority of Independents and Republicans also say the shutdown is causing a crisis or a major problem.

There's also a gender gap, with three-quarters of women but only 57% of men saying the shutdown has caused a crisis or major problems.

Some 800,000 federal workers have been furloughed due to the shutdown, with many government services and agencies are closed, suspended.

The CNN poll was conducted October 3-6 by ORC International, with 1,009 adults nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

soundoff (320 Responses)
  1. tom l

    Cue the "faux lite" comments in 3...2...1

    October 7, 2013 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  2. Farrok

    In the Political Landscape of America the GOP is a festering boil than needs to be lanced at the ballot box; kick them out of office. The GOP is an purifying abbess in Washington DC.

    October 7, 2013 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  3. Informed

    OK, so the GOP says, "We will shut down the government if we don't get our way." And the Democrats say, "We agree to a budget that extends the sequester cuts, but we won't de-fund or delay Obamacare." Most of Obamacare funding is essential, so the refusal, by the GOP, really doesn't accomplish anything, except to drive a partisan wedge. The GOP then says, "We won't talk without a grand bargain, but no revenue can be discussed."

    This is totally within the hands of the Republicans. While I wish the Democrats would reach out to moderate elements in the GOP to seek the failure of the Tea Party, I don't understand how any reasonable person with a clue can't blame the Republicans – they created this.

    October 7, 2013 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  4. Julie Labrouste

    "Most Americans say the government shutdown is causing a crisis or major problems for the country, according to a new national poll." – Well, that isn't going to be solved any time soon if it's done piecemeal. Of course, Boehner could simply put that clean budget up for a vote and hey it's democracy at work! If it doesn't pass, then the pressure would be off Boehner; and if it does pass, like many are saying it will, the republican/tea party artificial crisis is over ... until they create the next one.

    October 7, 2013 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  5. mlank64

    CNN is like a crochet diaper...totally useless. You keep hanging on to that false equivalency meme. We all know where the full blown blame lies. It is with the Teaparty Republicans.

    October 7, 2013 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  6. Wake up People!

    And here we go with the MSM false equivalency crap. If this were on the dems, the MSM would scream it from the rooftops.

    October 7, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  7. Erocks

    This is the problem. Does knowing theres a gender gap end the government shutdown? Too many people playing the gotcha game. Less about blame. More about solution.

    October 7, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  8. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    The blame goes solely to the republicans. They're the one's holding the country hostage and taking photo ops to try and shift the blame. We're on to their tactic and will make sure heads roll next November.

    R.I.P.G.O.P. 11/14

    October 7, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  9. Larry282

    Why comment any more. NONE of the loonies causing this mess can read, write or understand! But worse, they could CARE LESS!

    October 7, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  10. Faux Scandals

    We are angry at the Democrats for the Republican shutdown, only in America!

    October 7, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  11. Jim

    I am curious, do they conduct these polls by house phone or cell phone. That would be very misleading and a very small portion of the pie if they only conducted these calls by house phones.

    October 7, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  12. Linda Fenton

    Really? Where is the problem with the shut down? I keep waiting for some information that we are missing out on things. Other than the parks system what else is a problem? They seem to be continuing to grind out the "nothing" they always do.

    October 7, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  13. JKB75

    Who gives a flying squirrel who's fault it is?! UGH!!! Shut up and WORK!! FIX THE MESS!!!

    October 7, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  14. eldo hillName

    Republicans are 90% more to blame

    October 7, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  15. Jason

    "slightly more" on a majority of a Democrat website. Tells ya how good the Dems are doing dont ya think.

    October 7, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  16. jackson

    cut the tall trees.

    October 7, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  17. JimmyCarterSaysYes

    Can Our Government Be Competent?
    Jimmy Carter Says Yes
    Jimmy Carter Says Yes

    Can Our Government Be Peaceful and Open?
    As the 39th President, He has Spoken
    Jimmy Carter Says Yes

    October 7, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  18. DustyOnes

    Slightly more on a CNN poll means that 92% are blaming the Democrats and Obama.

    October 7, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  19. PeterD

    President Obama is a Head of The State and He is accountable and responsible to negotiate with both Senate and H of R. He just failed to do that.

    October 7, 2013 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  20. Daren Walker

    If President Obama were a good leader we would never have this problem. He forgot how to negotiate and bring the parties together after he got elected. I place 60% of the Blame on poor leadership in the White House. One has to be able to bring a closer gap to a divided country. If his leadership was good people would follow. Guess the problem we have is poor leadership.

    October 7, 2013 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  21. bill

    Oh please, this is ALL on the republicans! America has spoken with the overwhelming re-election of our President (including all swing states), Congress passed the Affordable Care Act, the US Supreme Court failed to invalidate the Act and yet here are the GOP still trying to get in the way of something America has already approved. The fact is, when the GOP fails to win a majority of the votes, when they lose on key issues, and when the Supreme Court refuses to solidify their position, they then hold America hostage and refuse to budge unless they get their way, which is against the will of Americans. The republicans are the ONLY ones to blame for this mess and they have been screwing America for the past 13 years. Enough is enough with these GOP fools.

    October 7, 2013 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  22. Really?

    As more people find out what this is really all about and that what the Republicans are asking was not unreasonable given the fact that Obama granted waivers to big corporations, but not individuals, of course Dems are going to be blame as well. I say Republicans are winning the argument despite the fact that the MSM (unfairly) blames Repub only.

    October 7, 2013 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  23. independentlyowned

    Can someone please explain how this is in any way the Democrats fault? Not talking about how each side has handled it since the shutdown, but the cause of the actual shutdown itself. It's a routine spending bill, and the GOP held it hostage over something that has nothing to do with it. It's like the Democrats saying they won't pass a spending bill unless taxes are raised for the top 5% of Americans, but they're willing to negotiate how much of an increase. This is NOT the way you change laws that you don't agree with!

    October 7, 2013 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  24. Ron in SC

    The GOP/Tea Party could have started the conversation months and months ago but chose to wait until the last minute. Now they are using terrorist tactics to try and get their way since they have no ideas or solutions just obstructionism and hatred to guide them.

    October 7, 2013 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  25. Jess

    Strange but Washington Post Poll just out doesn't totally agree that there's plenty of blame to go around.

    Obama approval gains, GOP disapproval soars as result of shutdown. Disapproval of congressional Republicans’ budget wrangling after a week long shutdown has shot up to 70 percent, with 51 percent disapproving “strongly,” according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

    October 7, 2013 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
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