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

    It reallty is amazing how unpricipled the Tea Party Republicans are willing to be in order to get what they want. Reagan fired the PATCO air traffic controllers because their strike was against their union contract and against the public good. Calvin Coolidge rose to fame by declaring the public employees did not have the right to strike anywhere, any place or anytime. By shutting down the government, the Tea Party Republicans have embraced the tactic that conservatives decried when Boston police or Federal air traffic controllers tried to use it on a MUCH smaller scale than the Tea Party Republicans are using it now. And they are doing so in order to attack the constitution, although many of them are too dense to realize it. Bills become law once passed by the House, Senate and signed by the President and upheld by the courts. Once law, they are repealed the same way. Tea Party Republicans want to fundamentally alter the constitutional balance of power by giving the House the right to repeal any law they don't like every October 1 by saying, do this or we shut down the government. Who will be able to rely on any laws that are passed in one session if the House alone can repeal them in the next? This goes way beyond the ACA or even the debt limit. This is a fundamental attack on our constitution and our ability to govern ourselves. We need to know that a law is not subject to the caprice of one party in one house of Congress. Obama needs to stand firm against this for the benefit of the country and generations that come after us.

    October 10, 2013 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  2. Malory Archer

    Finally found something on that Obama 37% approval #:

    The average gives Obama a 45 percent approval rating, and that's even baking in the newsy AP/GFK poll that puts him at 37 percent. And the AP/GFK is 1) conducted online and 2) making the most news for giving Congress a 5 percent approval rating.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Did ya read that, tighty righties? The poll that gives President Obama 37% (the poll with the next highest approval is 44%, and the remaining polls give him an even HIGHER approval rating) was conducted ONLINE, which most likely means that every reichwing blogger posted a link to the polling site, which readers promptly sent to all their little teabag toddler friends to "freep this poll".

    October 10, 2013 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  3. Larry in Houston

    @911 Survivor – I could not have said it better.... T Y

    October 10, 2013 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  4. chris kent

    shameless political biased reporting. Although every fact and figure about Republican approval/disapproval numbers is correct, the complete absence of the 37 % approval rating of President Obama in the latest AP poll shows that this is not news but a political hit piece.

    As for blackmail.....how about bribery. The Dem. controlled Senate on the night before Christmas had to pay off TWO of their own to get the votes required to pass the ACA.....Do you remember!!!! Probably not because you don't want the truth to get in the way of your biased story line. They exempted Louisiana and Nebraska from having to increase their state's Medicare spending like all the other states were required to do under the ACA!!! Because those two Dem. Senators were up for re election and probably would loose if they had to face their voters and answer for increasing their states taxes.

    October 10, 2013 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  5. cumulus

    Here's truth that matters, if john boener did his job this would be over and the citizens would not take a hit, coincidentally, that's exactly why it isn't

    October 10, 2013 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  6. Hogan's Goat

    I prefer having a 2-party system, no matter what Newt thinks of them. But it looks as if the GOP is going to be three or four parties all by itself by this time next year. Are you going to vote Old GOP, Orange GOP, TeaGOP, Libertarian, or Palinista? Vote early, vote often, and be sure to join all five parties so they are filled with hope.

    October 10, 2013 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  7. buongiorno

    truth of the matter is the probloms the entire nation and globally affect us all and we have to work together to solve these issues and there is no time like the present to say we can all be a pieace of the TAPESTRY when it's finished young and old alike!

    October 10, 2013 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  8. TheMaskedMan

    The right is filled with unintelligent people and intelligent people feigning ignorance.

    October 10, 2013 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  9. Rigs

    OUCH!!! If that Gallup polls doesn't make them wise up nothing will folks, 28% – I mean, that means only their base approves and NO ONE ELSE IN ALL OF AMERICA.

    October 10, 2013 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  10. chris kent

    It is really amazing as to the total lack of understanding the process. The founding fathers set up the style of government with checks and balances to protect the minority from the tyranny of the majority. All of you posting and attacking the tea party with vial language show your ignorance. Although I agree with some of there positions as well as some of the positions of the Dems and Reps. I agree that they have the right to use these tools to try to promote their point of view.
    The Dems have used these tools in the past, and although frustrating to me I always said they had the right and responsibility to try to help shape legislation when their voice was to small to be heard.
    If this is ever lost in the name of political fast tracking our country is in trouble. The majority is not always correct. Just look at our countries history....poll taxes, segregation, ect.
    Although messy it is how you keep the majority from becoming a dictatorship. It is not MOB RULE...

    October 10, 2013 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  11. Larry in Houston

    Baynor shouldn't kick this can down the road – Why ? because the longer he plays around w/ this thing, and keeps listening to the T party – he's goin to lose –
    In other words, the longer this debacle goes on, the more it will be in the voters memory, for 2014. If he deals w/ Obama in a sane way, his party will at least have a chance, in 2014....If not, then they will pay, or someone will, at least.
    I would like to find out who is going to take a "shellacking" in 2014
    When voting time rolls around in 2014, and the people under 45 (voters) are still hooked up to their I pods / I – phones / I – pads / FB / twitter / & the list goes on...... They will never know there was ever a "vote" – - – guess they think it's more important to tell their friends everytime they need to scratch their noses, or go to the bathroom, than to keep up-dated on current events. Once they find out the consequences of a republican majority, they won't have any idea what happened to their freedoms....

    October 10, 2013 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  12. Malory Archer

    chris kent

    shameless political biased reporting. Although every fact and figure about Republican approval/disapproval numbers is correct, the complete absence of the 37 % approval rating of President Obama in the latest AP poll shows that this is not news but a political hit piece.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Yeah, except the poll that gives President Obama 37% (the poll with the next highest approval is 44%, and the remaining polls give him an even HIGHER approval rating) was conducted ONLINE, which most likely means that every reichwing blogger posted a link to the polling site, which readers promptly sent to all their little teabag toddler friends to "freep this poll".

    Did ya read that, tighty righties? The poll that gives President Obama 37% was conducted ENTIRELY ONLINE, giving it even less credibility than other polling methods.

    October 10, 2013 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  13. Malory Archer

    chris kent

    As for blackmail.....how about bribery. The Dem. controlled Senate on the night before Christmas had to pay off TWO of their own to get the votes required to pass the ACA...

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Christmas, huh? That's really odd, considering the ACA became LAW in March 2010.

    October 10, 2013 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  14. ny88

    My daughter had a very minor pre-existing condition. She was not going to be able to get insurance once she graduated from college and went off my employer provided insurance. Fortunately the ACA kicked in and she was permitted to stay on our insurance until age 26. She will turn 26 in 2014. We just went on the government site, put in her information and she will now be able to get insurance for a very reasonable amount per month. So much so that I believe she will not wait until she turns 26 but will be purchasing insurance for herself before the Dec. 15th deadline. I am very glad that the President is standing his ground against the tea party republicans.

    October 10, 2013 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  15. DONARD

    Help me out with my 9th grade Civics here. Isn't it the job of the Executive branch to execute the laws of the land? ACA is the law of the land, and not available to the President as a bargaining chip in negotioations with Congress? Wouldn't it be unconstitutional for him to bargain away something that is not "his" for some short-term goal?

    October 10, 2013 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  16. Doug in NYC

    If the 37% number is from the National Review then that says it all. The National Review is a SATIRE site much as The Onion is!

    October 10, 2013 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  17. Thomas

    The GOP with the help of patriots like Sarah Palin and Ted Cruz will have there opinion polls shoot towards the heavens as translated by tongue through Michele Bachmann.

    October 10, 2013 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  18. Hector Slagg

    Humm,
    From what I hear most young people aren't going to sign up for "Dummy" Care. From what I hear the Web Site isn't working, even after huge sums of money paid for it.
    From what i hear more and more businesses are making employees Part Time or let go to get around "Dummy Care".

    October 10, 2013 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  19. Larry282

    Those 40 "conservative" (Terrorist) representatives are doing nothing less than attempting to takeover the government. They MUST BE STOPPED!

    October 10, 2013 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  20. barryinlasvegas

    The biggest loser is Obama. A 37% approval rating puts him right there with Jimmy Carter and by the time he leaves office, his Obamacare mess will drag him down to the worst president in our history.

    October 10, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  21. Kyle

    These comments about how the GOP should see these polls and feel pressure have little understanding about our system and how polls are conducted. The only "polls" that matter are the ones in their home districts, not some national poll. This is like when CNN focuses on the popular vote in the Presidential election. It is a red hearing. I promise you they are doing what their constituents want. As they should be. Just saying.

    October 10, 2013 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  22. ny88

    I've been on the site a few times and have had no problems. Perhaps the problem is the internet service. I have very good fast internet service. That may be why I'm not having any problems. As for young people not signing up, I've seen examples of groups that are going around colleges giving out completely false information about the ACA. Hopefully students are smart enough to ignore all the misinformation coming their way. All I can say is my daughter is planning on signing up. The altenative is no health insurance which means no health care. Why would they not want to pay about $85.00 a month to be able to get free wellness checkups and insurance should they have an accident or medical emergency. It just doesn't make sense.

    October 10, 2013 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  23. Steve

    The notion of fearing the federal government of the U.S. never crossed my mind . . . . until this fiasco unfolded. The fact that a handful of right wing zealots – without mandate – can successfully conspire to shut down the government, circumvent the constitutional process to repeal legislation, crash our stock exchanges and put our national defense at risk is truly scary. At least it scares me.

    The funding or de-funding ACA is a trivial side issue when compared to the larger issue of determining how this travesty was allowed to unfold. It needs to be investigated and solutions urgently prosecuted.

    October 10, 2013 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  24. Hogan's Goat

    Don't hassle Rick McDaniel because he is an actual concerned person among a horde of trolls. I disagree with him and think he oversimplifies and jumps to conclusions, but he is a real human being and not some orc or troll.

    October 10, 2013 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  25. Nodack

    "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 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."

    All they care about is re-election. The big picture and the country is something they could care less about.

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