CNN Shutdown Poll: Plenty of blame to go around
October 7th, 2013
04:03 PM ET
10 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. Philip Shea's

    If a majority of Americans really blame Obama and Democrats as much as Republicans for this, our population is beyond hope. We live in a truly stupid country.

    October 7, 2013 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  2. Marv

    Lots of Demon-Rat robots on this site. Well, here goes anyway:

    The blame belongs squarely on the shoulders of Obama and Reid. Like all Democrats, they can't deal with opposition to their socialist agenda. They want total power and total control. So they are using the blame game and the shutdown in the hope that the public will turn on the Republicans and give the Demons total power in 2014.

    But, when you kick private home owners out of their homes, and try to shut down private businesses, and keep WWII vets out of an open-air memorial by going to the hassle and expense of setting up barricades, and by telling NPS workers to make life as hard as they can for people, etc. etc., you will have a hard time placing the blame on the GOP.

    Of course, if you keep the people ignorant of what's really happening, you might succeed.... Hence the massive propaganda campaign waged by the likes of CNN.

    P.S. I bet it really frosted you that your headline had to say "plenty of blame to go around" instead of "GOP blamed for ____"

    CNN: Stop the lies.

    October 7, 2013 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  3. Fed Up

    Maybe the Tea party can pay for the 10 billion in (US DOLLARS) a day in our tax dollars that it cost for the shutdown

    October 7, 2013 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  4. Jim in PA

    1. CNN falsely reports that the problem is caused by both sides.
    2. CNN conducts public opinion poll, and finds that its viewers incorrectly believe the problem is caused by both sides.
    3. CNN reports the self-fulfilling poll results as fact, and pretends it is not culpable in this misinformation.
    The death of American journalism.

    October 7, 2013 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  5. John Free

    Its so sad, that the democrats are so clueless as to how they are destroying America....

    My children and grandchildren will never know what America once was....thanks to The New World Order's representative in the white-house.

    We are doomed.

    October 7, 2013 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  6. TomC

    Really kinda funny considering it's the Right-Wingers who are the cause of all this mess.

    October 7, 2013 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  7. Andrew

    "Slightly more"? That's some dumb conservatives.

    October 7, 2013 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  8. GBfromOhio

    Huh? Plenty of blame to go around ... are you kidding!? The budget has been slashed down to near Ryan budget levels, there are enough votes to pass a clean CR, the Republicans (Tea Party anarchists) are holding the country damage because of some legislation they don't like. Why are they trying to destroy our economy and if they want to make changes to the Affordable Health Care Act why don't they go through our democratic legislative process? May God have mercy on us.

    October 7, 2013 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  9. Eagle0432

    The only way the country defaults is if Obama wants it to. The Treasury is still taking in 10 times as much as needed to service the debt. This is all politics on both sides but Obama is lying when he says a default will be Congress's fault. All it takes is prioritizing the money that is coming in. Closing public parks, lost child websites and other public services is pure politics and totally unnecessary. Numerous quotes by government officials calling this tactic "disgusting". It is sad that this President does nothing to bring the country together. Most divisive in history. Sad.

    October 7, 2013 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  10. cheryltipton

    Plain and simple....stop the whining and blaming!!! get the hell over yourselves and do the job the American people elected you all to do!! Then maybe we should all start having a whole bunch of recall elections at home and get rid of the idiots. They all just make me sick...because they want to throw little childish tantrums, they are destroying our country.

    October 7, 2013 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  11. 2020

    Blame game is for kids.

    Beohner, stop crying foul. Let the chips fall. you put the vote to the floor, let the people decide.

    October 7, 2013 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  12. AmyinCambridge

    Honestly, if people feel this is "everyone's" fault and spread the blame around, then this is what we deserve. If GOP branding and lies have hit their mark, then this is what we suffer. How people don't understand that is beyond me. The option for the President and Dems is to negotiate over laws that are in place, or the entire nation suffers. That is blackmail. If people think they should negotiate- then this is how we will govern now and in the future and god help us. We will look different than any other unstable third world country.

    October 7, 2013 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  13. Matt

    I'm not statistician, but I believe that the extrapolation of data is a bit incorrect. Using a sample size of 1009 people out of a population in excess of 313,900,000 would give you +/- 300 percentage points.

    You'd have to poll 10,320,271 people to get an error rate of +/- 3 percentage points. Carry on, though...

    October 7, 2013 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  14. Johnny 5

    Both parties are equal failures. Hence why Obama has brought socialism to america.

    October 7, 2013 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    I place 100% of the blame for this shutdown on the person that attached Obamacare to the Debt Ceiling bill. Without that there would only have been minor issues to resolve. If the Dems were not so bullheaded and would pull Obamacare out of the mix, this shutdown would be over quickly.

    October 7, 2013 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  16. Julie Labrouste

    "According to the poll, 63% of those questioned say they are angry at the Republicans for the way they have handled the shutdown." 63% is a lot stronger than "slightly more people are angry at Republicans than Democrats or President Barack Obama for the shutdown"; THIS is on the republicans and the tea party and especially Boehner.

    October 7, 2013 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  17. jeff wayne

    All this shows is that each party is catering effectively to their bases. I'm just surprised we haven't heard more one-sided outrage from the independents. Hard to believe they'd be split 50/50 on this ... but that's me.

    October 7, 2013 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  18. AmyinCambridge

    Will NOT look any different.

    October 7, 2013 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  19. Intelligentix

    You know you are ill-informed when you believe the Tea Party and the Republican Party are the same party. *cough cough* Looking at most of you *cough cough*

    October 7, 2013 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  20. Bobbyray

    Let's see, The President is a Democrat,The Senate is run by Democrats and the House is run by Republicans. That is 2 branches run by Democrats and 1 by Repiblicans. What ever happened to "The buck stops with me". Oh yea that was when men were men and took responsibility for their actions, this president passes the buck and WILL NOT LEAD.

    October 7, 2013 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  21. Mark V

    Wow, new polls come out showing that the country realizes that the Dems are just as much to blame and Dem defenders pop up like whack a moles. I have a hint for you guys, you can only fool everyone for 'some' of the time.

    October 7, 2013 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  22. rr

    Did you read the last paragraph? The poll was done by ORC International. Even CNN outsources.

    October 7, 2013 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  23. scott

    Clearly the fault lies at the top with the President and then works its way down. Everyone up there is to blame. Let it stay shutdown. The government may employee many people but the government creates ZERO wealth and this shutdown will point out how little they actually do.

    October 7, 2013 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  24. Anonymous

    We never seem to mention the Libertarian Party in all of this. Aren't the Koch Brothers Libertarian and don't they
    fund the Tea Party? Rand Paul is standing with the Tea Party, as a Republican, but his heart is Libertarian.
    They all have the same agenda: Tear down the government.

    October 7, 2013 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  25. John

    I place 100% of the blame for this shutdown on the person that attached Obamacare to the Debt Ceiling bill. Without that there would only have been minor issues to resolve. If the Dems were not so bullheaded and would pull Obamacare out of the mix, this shutdown would be over quickly.

    October 7, 2013 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
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