Shutdown polls: No winners, but a bigger loser
October 10th, 2013
09:15 PM ET
10 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. Sniffit

    The House GOP/Teatrolls changed the House Rules on September 30, 2013 in order to guarantee a gov't shutdown and prevent anyone from stopping it. It's not even remotely debatable any more CNN...the false equivalence charade is over.

    October 10, 2013 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    "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."

    Aaaw, gerrymandering got you down, GOPers?

    October 10, 2013 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  3. Lynda/Minnesota

    "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 defending Obamacare to funding the government. This was something he and others warned of."

    Really? John Boehner did not want to tie defunding Obamacare to funding the government? Now that is a RW talking point I hadn't yet heard.

    October 10, 2013 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  4. Data Driven

    Headline isn't accurate: media-promulgated BothSiderism has been quite triumphant, as the poll numbers demonstrate.

    October 10, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  5. Woman In California

    These polls are absolutely meaningless unless we take action by voting EVERY SINGLE REPUBLICAN OUT OF OFFICE. Until that happens, these polls are such a waste of time.

    October 10, 2013 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  6. Rudy NYC

    The Republican approval rating has hit a record all-time low. I also think that we need to start distinguishing between "Republican Party" and "Tea Party." Unfortunately, we cannot begin applying that distinction until the Republican Party divorces itself from the Tea Party. Good luck with that.

    October 10, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  7. cumulus

    I heard mitt Romney is going to win by a landslide, wtf happened?

    October 10, 2013 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  8. CaliforniaAC

    Maybe now CNN will start reporting the TRUTH about what is going on, and the same goes for all the news media except Fox News– they live in an alternate reality and wouldn't know the truth if they saw it.

    October 10, 2013 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  9. tee

    Note: 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. here is a fact this 57% and 53% all are independent voters and share the blame for this shutdown, The put the Republicans back into office in 2010. Clinton was 100% about the Republicans.

    October 10, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  10. Steven Colo

    "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. "

    Or what's best for the country. I just thought I'd mention that.

    October 10, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  11. Jim

    When obama says 'raising the debt limit won't add a dime to the National debt.' he is clearly not a rational or truthful person. Libs must actualized that continued support for this chronic and proven failure is not good for them, their children or the Nation.

    October 10, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  12. Sniffit

    "I heard mitt Romney is going to win by a landslide, wtf happened?"

    President Mittens is just being shy, that's all.

    October 10, 2013 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  13. Rick McDaniel

    CNN........your network is totally under the control of Obama and the Democrats, Your actions are reflective of that fact, and your polls are absolutely nothing but propaganda..........just as your reporters are reporting nothing, but the lies and deceit of the WH.

    CNN is a propagandist network, that lies to the people of America.

    October 10, 2013 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  14. deb0155

    I'm tired of hearing about which side "took the biggest hit." Everyone is missing the point – it's not which side – it's the American people (especially the middle class) who are taking the biggest hit!

    October 10, 2013 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  15. rdg18

    CNN is polling liberal areas to help the dems. I will still vote Republican in November.2014.

    October 10, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  16. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    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
    -------------------------------------------------
    Yeah right, just like the polls had Obama and Mittens neck and neck in 2012.
    Please.
    Next.

    October 10, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  17. Sniffit

    " John Boehner did not want to tie defunding Obamacare to funding the government? Now that is a RW talking point I hadn't yet heard."

    It's silly-talk. "Ooooh, poor Captain Orangeglow, unwilling hapless victim of the radicalization of the right wing that he fully participated in, encourage, helped orchestrate and relies on every single day to excuse his behavior." Nonsense. CNN and the MSM are latching onto it because "it's ok if you're a republican" and Boehner needs the help in avoiding accountability for his behavior the past 20 years.

    October 10, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  18. danomite52

    This is exactly what happened when Gingrich & Co. tried it in the 90's. Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

    October 10, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  19. Jason

    "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."

    So they are actually representing their constituents? (What a REPRESENTATIVE is supposed to do) Imagine that.

    October 10, 2013 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  20. Peter in Ottawa

    Meanwhile Obama's approval rating is no different (37%) than that of GWB at the same time in his Presidency...yet Obama gets a free ride from media.

    October 10, 2013 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  21. Roger

    I'm an unaffiliated voter and I try to ignore party lines, but I absolutely hate today's Republican party. Their mindset was already dying at the turn of the century.

    October 10, 2013 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  22. Name

    Can someone please explain to me why dose America barrow money? Why are we sending billions in foreign aid? when we can't even finance our own country!? I'm just fed up with our government period!

    October 10, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  23. Boo

    ABC News reported last night that Congress had a 5% approval rating.....who is the 5%? That's what I want to know.

    October 10, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  24. jamesmadison

    What baffles me is how anyone can say that Obama and the Democrats are the sole individuals responsible for this. Do those people have any grey matter between their ears?

    October 10, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  25. Ray

    The GOP/Tea Party have done themselves in and they did it by themselves with their un-American right wing actions. I'm elated that in Texas there are signs that the Democrats are staging a comeback. I for one will no longer vote for any Republican, let alone a Tea Party candidate. I think Ted Cruz is so far out in right field that he is destined to be a one-term failure.

    October 10, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
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