CNN Shutdown Poll: Plenty of blame to go around
October 7th, 2013
04:03 PM ET
12 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 (319 Responses)
  1. GWB

    Once again, TPr's attempt to lead the way by going over the cliff like lemmings.

    October 7, 2013 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  2. Ian

    This poll surprises me for two reasons. Boehner could end this shut down with one vote. The teahadists have been running since 2010 to "shut down the government". And as Michelle Bachmann put it they are "very excited" and "It's exactly what we wanted, and we got it"

    October 7, 2013 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  3. Lynda/Minnesota

    Oh dear CNN. Another Mitt Romney is increasing momentum poll.

    October 7, 2013 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  4. abc

    This is ridiculous

    October 7, 2013 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  5. Jack Anthony

    The National Park Service has closed privately run marinas, restaurants and inns throughout the country and in some cases even posted guards to keep people from using them during the government shutdown, arguing that it doesn’t have the money, manpower or authority to let them operate. They are closing down Pull-Offs (which requires no Federal Support) in front of Federal Lands so people can’t take pictures.

    However, the National Park Service is making an exception on the ‘closed’ National Mall for a pro immigration reform rally that will be attended by several members of the Democrat Party.

    How is this different that the old Soviet Union? The Federal Government should be there for ALL the people . . . not make life harder for average Americans while creating special privileges for a few!!!

    October 7, 2013 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  6. Curt

    Now imagine the numbers if the media wasn't so busy blaming only the republicans while portraying the democrats and the president as helpless victims!?

    October 7, 2013 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  7. Dont Get IT

    So the republican tie in the Affordable Care Act (which is law, upheld by Supreme Court) to the budget, and it's not at least 80% of the blame? Doesn't matter if you like Obama Care or not, you cannot be a baby and shutdown the government because you didn't get your way.

    October 7, 2013 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  8. John Keogh

    What poll? These mysterious polls pop saying all kind of trends and I think you make them up. I was not asked and they are both wrong, but the spending has to stop so shutdown the stupid government.

    October 7, 2013 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  9. TBLAST

    It's time Obama do just like his idol, Abe Lincoln. Declare Bohner has succeeded from the Union and get on with the business of running this country. This a civil war all over again. The TEA Party Nazis are a harm and danger to the Union. Issue an executive order and bypass the Nazi Party. The President of the United States has the power to run this country when Congress can not. President Obama please issue an order and let those fools work it out afterwards. The Obama care has passed, the Supreme court has upheld it, damn get over it. This would be like The Confederate states still saying slavery not abolished. Our country is the joke of the world because of the Republican party. Damn Shame.

    October 7, 2013 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  10. Art

    100% of americans know that CNN is in Barack Obamas pocket therefore don't care what you have to say.

    October 7, 2013 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  11. LittleDrummerBoy

    It's both their fault's. The system of Checks and Balances seems to have gone out the window with the bathwater.

    October 7, 2013 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  12. Pollster

    Since this is a CNN poll, i assume a few less people are mad at the republicans, and a few more people are mad at the demorats and obama. I think they all suck.

    October 7, 2013 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  13. law-n-disorder

    Hey CNN. Why don't you poll that same set of people and see if we should repeal the 1st and 2nd amendment.

    October 7, 2013 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  14. Just_One

    Fire them all

    October 7, 2013 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  15. JV1298

    Just like all telephone polls, we have to remember that they tend to skew towards an older demographic (which tends to be more republican leaning). Young people often don't have a listed land line number and screen their calls even if they do. It's the same reason those nail biter swing states according to the polls tend to come out heavier to the left side on election day.

    October 7, 2013 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  16. bill

    Even now the GOP will not bring this issue to a vote because they know that the House would pass a clean budget to end the government shutdown. This is all on the neo-radical GOP commies trying to hijack our Country yet once again. If their position is so strong then why doesn't the GOP let the House vote on this??!!! The answer is they are afraid of how stupid they will look when members of their own party actually vote in favor of ending the shutdown and plus they don't want to anger the terrorist factions of the GOP.

    October 7, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  17. DePastaSauce

    Good – they should ALL be blamed for doing NOTHING but pointing the finger at each other. Do you job and get out of office – these career politicians just play politics with people's lives. TERM LIMITS NOW – force them out!!!!

    October 7, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  18. Pollster

    Since this is a CNN poll, I can only assume the numbers are a bit skewed. Either way, Obama is the President and supposed to be the leader. There is a tone to be set from the top, and Obama is the top. His tone smacks of disrespect for the American people.

    October 7, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  19. Mike Shorten

    This poll and so many others like it prove only one thing... That most people don't have a clue.

    If you asked any of the respondents, on either side, what the crisis was that the shut down was causing they would not be able to provide a substantive answer.

    October 7, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  20. Dave Scoven

    A poll like that really means nothing. A good 50 percent of the repondents probably have no idea why there's a shutdown in the first place. In my experience, the more a person knows about exactly what's going on, the more they can pinpoint blame. People who don't understand an issue generalize their comments about it, so as not to appear uneducated. People who do understand an issue are capable of deeper analysis. To say that everyone is to blame is to say you have no idea what the problem is, you just want the problem to go away.

    October 7, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  21. Rick C.

    Is there a clause in the Patriot Act to go after economic terrorists? If so, lets start with the Tea Party faction.

    October 7, 2013 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  22. Elbridge Condee

    We have a President who refuses to lead but stands on the sidelines and insults those he needs to work with to solve this problem.

    October 7, 2013 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  23. Mark L.

    Any "blind and deaf" individual can tell you – The blame of this entire government shutdown and debt ceiling ordeal lays squarely on the hands of the TEA party ANARCHISTS !! Before this anarchist movement started, a select number of Republicans and Democrats were able to work together, iron out their differences and get the appropriate legislation passed. But so long as Americans continue voting in these TEA party anarchists, NOTHING is going to get accomplished. WAKE UP AMERICA !!

    October 7, 2013 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  24. GOP Hate America

    So here we go, slowly but surely the fruit fly memory of the typical American now begin to forget how the republicans started this mess and will begin to place full blame on democrats for not fixing it. I am actually surprised however it took as long as 7 days. Thought it would be much sooner.

    October 7, 2013 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  25. Kevin RUSS

    Why people need everything to be equal from a Republican and Democrat perspective is ever so challenging to understand. Everyone knows the truth, the Republicans in the house have taking this extreme position given they are underhanded with respect to controlling our government and do not have the votes to pass the laws they see fit. But, the difference is this minority in our government is willing to put everything at risk to get what they want. So, are the Democrats going to give in to their extortion plot? Are they to laydown and say yes, if you place the full faith and credit of this country at risk then you will get what you want? NO! Please people, we all know who is at fault here, and we dont need no poll to figure this one out.

    October 7, 2013 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
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