Shutdown polls: No winners, but a bigger loser
October 10th, 2013
09:15 PM ET
12 months ago

Shutdown polls: No winners, but a bigger loser

Washington (CNN) – A week and a half into a partial government shutdown and one week before a crucial deadline to raise the nation's debt ceiling, new polls indicate that Americans are angry and are blaming both political parties for the impasse.

Sixty percent of people questioned in an NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey released Thursday say if given the chance to vote to defeat every single member of Congress, including their own representative, they would. That's the highest level ever recorded on that question in NBC News/Wall Street Journal polling. 

But the results of the NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey and a handful of other national polls released earlier this week also suggest that while neither side is faring well, more fingers are being pointed at Republicans than at Democrats and President Barack Obama.

According to the numbers, neither side's getting off scot-free.

"People don't like the spectacle of the government shutting down and that's what's driving everybody's numbers down," CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley, anchor of "State of the Union," said.

CNN Polling Director Keating Holland agreed: "The bad news for both parties is that the shutdown is making the public feel worse about both sides."

But more blame and anger seems to be directed at the GOP.

"Depending on which question and which poll you look it, either the Republicans have fallen further than the Democrats or both parties have lost the same amount of ground but the Republicans started in a worse position," Holland said. "Either way, the shutdown appears to have put the GOP in a somewhat weaker position at this moment in time."

According to a CNN/ORC International poll conducted last weekend, 63% said they were angry at the Republicans for the way they have handled the shutdown, which was sparked by a push by conservative lawmakers to tie their drive to defund the president's signature health care law to a bill to continue to fund the federal government.

Democrats didn't get off easy in the survey, with 57% angry at them for the way they've handled the shutdown, and 53% said the same thing about Obama. The CNN results were similar to a Pew Research Center poll conducted at the same time that found slightly more people blaming congressional Republicans rather than Democrats in Congress and Obama for the partial shutdown.

But the NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey and two other polls suggested a wider gap between the two parties.

By a 22-point margin, more people in the NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey blame the GOP in Congress rather than the White House for the partial shutdown. And only 24% approve of the job congressional Republicans are doing, 12-points lower than the approval rating for their Democratic counterparts.

Forty-five percent of those questioned in an ABC News/Washington Post poll said they approved of the way Obama was handling budget negotiations, with 35% saying the same thing about congressional Democrats. Neither figure is anything to brag about, but they are better than this number: Only 25% gave a thumbs up to how the GOP in Congress was handling the budget talks.

And just 28% of those in the new Gallup survey say they have a favorable opinion of the Republican party, down 10 points from last month, an all-time low in nearly 75 years of Gallup polling. The favorable rating for the Democratic party slipped four points in the survey to 43%.

"Clearly the Republicans have taken a larger hit on this," CNN Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger said. "And this is exactly what I think the House speaker anticipated when he originally did not want to have this strategy of tying defunding Obamacare to funding the government. This was something he and others warned of."

These national polls may not be registering with the approximate 40 conservative lawmakers behind the push to dismantle Obamacare.

"The big leadership in the Republican Party gets this," CNN Chief National Correspondent John King said. "The hard part is trying to sell this to an individual House member who's going home to a district where he or she got 55% or 65% of the vote or maybe was unopposed in the last election. They don't worry about national polls. They worry about their district back home and that's the split you have in the party right now."


Filed under: Government Shutdown • Polls
soundoff (128 Responses)
  1. Pam from Iowa

    The Affordable Care Act is a law – not a bill to be debated or used as a bargaining chip – a simple concept that seems to escape comprehension by the Tea Party and John Boehner, but hopefully ALL Americans will remember come the next election!!!

    October 10, 2013 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  2. TONE

    The gop are the loosers in this shutdown fight.

    October 10, 2013 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  3. Dan5404

    The US Chamber of Commerce, the National Retailers Federation, large corporations, and even the Koch Brothers are against a shutdown and default. So, how about them telling the GOP "moderates" that, instead of fearing the Tea Party, they should fear not getting any campaign donations from them, they need to fund their own election campaigns. That would end it soon.

    October 10, 2013 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
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