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. Craig

    This mantra of both sides being equally to blame shows just how feckless the press is today. The ACA is being used by republicans to blackmail the administration. No need for political punditry here.It is law, upheld by SCOTUS, and the repugs lost the election over it.Dems caved to Ryan's budget numbers and then got smacked with the sequester. Now they hold the nation hostage ignoring a basic premise for which this nation exists. Majority rules! For those in the press who seek the lazy way out...shame on you .

    October 7, 2013 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  2. Tychi

    This is the strategy of the GOP. The longer this goes on the more the blame is spread out to everyone. The GOP will no longer be the reason all of this started. The GOP is trying to cover their tracks with time and the frustration of Americans. The real criminals will be forgotten.

    October 7, 2013 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  3. DustyBucket

    The current stalemate is concoted by the Tea Party's threat to democracy and is born out of a racist agenda which will stop at nothing to attack the current president. Whatever the overt political excuse they try to hide behind. The rest of the world is well aware of this. An eventual forfeit by the US of its national debt obligations will spell disaster to us ... and to the rest of the world's economic system. Last time it was Wall Street which shook the world – this time it is racism. For supposedly the only remaining world super power it is sad and frightening.

    October 7, 2013 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  4. 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 l y I n g when he says a default will be Congress's fault. All it takes is prioritizing the money that is coming in. Closing public parks, Amber alert websites and other public services is while keeping opened Michelle's obesity website is pure politics and totally unnecessary. Numerous quotes by government officials calling this tactic "di$gusting". It is sad that this President does nothing to bring the country together. Most divisive in history. Sad.

    October 7, 2013 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  5. canon808

    Well, who is missing the government? I am not, I wish IRS was shutdown too. So we are basically in state where the government has its belt tightened to the last hole. Lets keep it like that for a while. Wouldnt call myself a tea bagger by the way, whatever that means

    October 7, 2013 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  6. Aerin

    So much for CNN polls.

    "Thirty-eight percent of Americans said Republicans were to blame for the shutdown, versus 30 percent who blame the Obama administration and 19 percent who blame both, according to the Pew poll."

    "The ABC News/Washington Post poll found that 70 percent of Americans disapprove of the way congressional Republicans are handling negotiations over the federal budget and 61 percent of Americans disapprove of the way Congressional Democrats are handling the budget "

    October 7, 2013 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  7. Gregory

    So let's get this straight: The GOP put an arbitary condition on the budget to defund the ACA, a law that was passed and reviewed and cleared by the Supreme Court through the democratic, legislative process...and which was endorsed via Obama's re-election, since it is the ONE big piece of "hope and change" legislation he was able to get through a hostile Congress...and it's somehow the Democrats and/or Obama's fault for the shutdown? We need an informed populace, not one that speaks from the confines of its narrow ideology. The GOP are agaiinst Obama for a reason we are all aware of. The facts bear out that the ACA is legal, is needed/wanted by the American People and that an obstructionist party simply want to see Rome burn as long as that uppity President is put in his place. Let's move forward.

    October 7, 2013 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  8. bryan

    How can it be so close when the media is working so hard to blame the Republicans?

    ut-oh what can we do now?

    October 7, 2013 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  9. The Brutal Truth

    LOL!!!

    So much for the "this is the death of the GOP" rhetoric!

    October 7, 2013 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  10. G D

    We have a legislative process that has worked up until now because one party would never hold general gov funding as hostage to legislative goals it could otherwise not achieve in committee or new legislation. There is plenty of blame to go around, but the far-right GOP initiated this hostage-taking process, and that is what is unacceptable. An irony to me is that I think the AHA is poorly written & conceived, but FIX IT with consensus, don't shut the country down.

    October 7, 2013 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  11. navaJohn

    Plenty of blame to go around? I don't think so. The Democrats DID NOT poison a standard government spending bill with yet another futile attempt to remove a law that passed and was supported by the Supreme Court, not to mention elections. This is a Republican mess to own. Every last one of us should remember that next election.

    October 7, 2013 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  12. Jay

    Today the president said "I will negotiate under a threat". What does he think negotiations are ? When a uniona nd mgmt. sit down to negotiate...the unions threatens to strike, mgmt. can threaten a lockout, etc...Ditto with any real negotiation...there is a threat that both parties can lose something they want. Problem with Obama is ...as he said all along..."I will not negotiate"...neither will the Dem controlled Senate. That is called Tyranny. The HOuse represents the people and th people don;t like Obamacare ....and they don;t think it is ready. Obama can;t handle the truth and HE and REID have closed the governemnt because they are unwilling to make every American Inclsuing themsleves abode by it....they have granted waivers to themselves and their supporters.

    October 7, 2013 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  13. MarcoD

    Other polls also show Obama support grew 4% and 70% disapprove of the GOP.

    Overall, the Tea Party remains the group blamed for the shutdown by Americans but a huge margin.

    October 7, 2013 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  14. The Elephant in The Room

    Folks, we won't make any progress if we continue false equivalencies or if we continue to say "both are at fault". This is not true first of all and, secondly, it doesn't motivate one side to move off of its stubborness.

    The Democratic Senate has voted and rejected the Republican House of Representative's continuing resolution.
    In a fair minded scenario, the GHOP House would, similarly, vote on the Democratic Senate's CR legislation, wouldn't it ??
    We all know that the Senate's version would pass. So let's be honest about whose fault it is that this shutdownm continues. It's John Boehner, a Republican, that is standing in the way. Anyone care to TRY top dispute that?

    October 7, 2013 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  15. Judy Wood

    What morons did they get for this poll?. It is clear to anyone with half a brain that the tea party planned this for years. Boehner is on their side. The house has enough votes for a "clean budget" but Boehner will not call the vote. He wants to cut some of the smallest expenses in the budget, leaving the bloated ones that should be cut alone. End corporate welfare and oil subsidies. Stop paying billions for animal testing which is not helping anyone. Cut Israel off from Uncle Sams teat. Social Security and food stamps are not breaking the bank. They are not the problem.

    October 7, 2013 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  16. MaasiesMess

    If you aren't part of the solution you are part of the problem so I would say they are all culpable.

    October 7, 2013 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  17. Takes two to fight

    Anyone saying the blame goes solely to the Republicans is in blind denial. Republicans have an issue with Obamacare, they have tried to re-open the government in full minus Obamacare and Dems have said no. The current shutdown is just as much the Dems refusal to accept appropriations bills to reopen the governement as it is the Republicans refusing to allow or vote Obamacare through.

    To say the Republicans are being unresaonable and extreme may very well hold truth- but to ignore negoiations and to allow our government to shutdown because of this sits just as much on the Democrats as it does the Republicans.

    October 7, 2013 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  18. ZYX

    Are the rich Republicans doing this for their own financial gain? For example, their actions have caused the stock market to tumble. Are they doing this purposefully so that they can buy stocks now when the price is down so that they can sell stocks later when the price is up for a profit?

    October 7, 2013 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  19. eddie

    No social security, welfare, unemployment, food stamp checks going out – Protests at all 1000 mayor cities. Protests turn to riot and looting. Police called, can't contain violence – President declares martial law. Not enough troops available. Troops needed to quell uprising sought. Soldiers from middle east come home. Terrorists in middle east ramp up attacks as all U.S. troops are gone. Isreal is attacked. Isreal attacks Iran. Because of martial law, President gains all control in gov. – elects his own members to pass bills and laws in congress. Stock market crashes because of economic disturbance in U.S. Domino effect and all world collapse – It turns into a "Eat or be eaten" society... This is just my common sense trying to figure out what will happen if a lot of people don't get paid...

    October 7, 2013 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  20. Jeff

    What all of you people, media included, must think of the "American People"! As CNN helps both sides film their re-election sound bites, we're really not buying any of it. CNN fuels the fire with inflammatory sound and music and dear Wolf and the crew spewing and commenting on controversy. CNN = National Enquirer on speed.

    The truth is the Tea Party manufactured this crises a year ago – set it up. Got Cruz to front it because Cantor and Paul are too smart to be out front until the end. Everybody's covered. Representative and House Speaker John Cruz Boehner is a smoking goat. And President Obama is just arrogant. Not that there's not enough substance to talk about, but this is all CNN shows or if good for. Manufactured Drama. It's pathetic, ridiculous, disgraceful, probably unlawful and almost treasonous. All of you are lost in your own soap opera.

    We are all praying that Vice President Biden and Senator McConnell can pull together to let everyone off of the hook. Or you can kiss America good-buy – just a little before it's time to go anyway.

    Shame on all of them, and shame on CNN too. Where are your real thinkers?

    It's past time for the Joe and Mitch compromise.

    Post Script: I'm a conservative Republican from Texas. and very ashamed.

    October 7, 2013 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  21. Guess what?

    All of this precedes Default on Debt – 127% of GDP debt will be surpassing Greek levels – sound the alarm! GDP of US is 15.7 Trillion – we are now trying to rasie the debt ceiling to 20 Trillion !!!!!!!!!

    October 7, 2013 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  22. Woman In California

    Well it all depends on who you ask now doesn't it?

    October 7, 2013 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  23. dave

    Alot of the anger at the democrats is racial, if you could factor out all of the racist, it would be about 100% angry at the republicans. There's nothing that Obama can do to win over the racist. The republican leadership knows the racial divide and they make full use of it. If it were all white old men they would have a heck of a time shutting down everything. At least now, when and if the economy goes really bad, we can always blame Speaker Cruz. The economy was making some significant headway before the republicans decided to ruin the economy. Now it looks like we are almost back in the Bush recession. Already the Guru's are talking about more welfare for wall street. That will be one huge bubble that will burst when the welfare stops, with no GDP growth you know it's a huge bubble.

    October 7, 2013 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  24. Wisemann

    Republicans say they want to stop piling more and more debt on future
    generations of Americans...I do not buy it! What future generations of
    Americans? 2 or 3 generations down the road all you ll get to see in
    this country is gonna be all kinds of Hispanics, Chinese or other folks of
    indefinite genetic origin the color of rotten mustard. You ll have to
    book an appointment a week in advance just to be able to see an American
    in an American town.

    October 7, 2013 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  25. Duke

    Polls got it right this time

    You are ALL screwing up so you BOTH need to get together to fix this.

    Repubs-Tell your T-party overlords to shove it, put out the CLEAN CR and let it get voted on.

    Dems – Debt-ceiling – go to the table, but remember, you have accepted a lot of shove down your throat already.

    Finally – get in REAL INDEPENDENT experts to give real advice and numbers on what is best and get the debt ceiling AND the budget PASSED

    MORONS!!!

    October 7, 2013 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
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