Poll: Gender gap in view of government shutdown
March 2nd, 2011
08:56 AM ET
12 years ago

Poll: Gender gap in view of government shutdown

Washington (CNN) - Americans are divided over whether a government shutdown because of a standoff between Democrats and Republicans would be a good or bad thing for the country, according to a new national poll.

A Quinnipiac University survey released Wednesday morning also indicates that more of the public would blame Republicans in Congress rather than President Barack Obama for a federal government shutdown.

Forty-six percent of people questioned in the survey say shutting down the federal government except for those workers deemed essential would be a good thing because it would stop the government from going further into debt, with 44 percent saying it would be a bad thing because many federal services would be unavailable.

The results suggest a partisan divide, with more than six in ten Democrats saying a shutdown would be a bad thing and just over six in ten Republicans saying it would be a good thing. By a 47 to 42 percent margin, independent voters say it would be a good thing.

It also appears that there's a gender gap on the issue, with men by a 50 to 40 percent margin saying it would be a good thing and women by a 48 to 41 percent margin saying it would be a bad thing.

Forty-seven percent of people questioned in the poll say they would hold Republicans in Congress responsible for a government shutdown, with 38 percent saying they would blame the president and 15 percent not sure.

The results differ from a Washington Post-Pew Research Center survey released Tuesday, which indicates that Americans were split. Thirty-six percent of people questioned in that poll say congressional Republicans would be at fault if the two political parties can't reach a deal in time to avoid a temporary shutdown of federal government services, with 35 percent saying they'd blame the Obama administration, and 17 percent saying both sides would be equally at blame.

According to the Quinnipiac University survey, independent voters by a 48 to 34 percent margin would hold congressional Republicans responsible for a shutdown. That's different that than Washington Post-Pew poll, which indicates that independent votes would blame the president by a 37-32 percent margin.

The Senate plans to vote Wednesday on a bill that would extend funding for the federal government by two more weeks while cutting $4 billion from current spending levels. The House of Representatives passed the bill Tuesday on a 335-91 vote, with Republicans overwhelmingly backing it while Democrats were sharply divided.

Senators and aides from both parties said they expected it to pass Wednesday's vote and proceed to President Barack Obama for his signature. This will prevent a government shutdown after Friday, when the current spending resolution expires at midnight. March 18 would then become the next date for a possible government shutdown.

The Quinnipiac University poll was conducted February 21-28, with 1,887 registered voters questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 2.3 percentage points.

The Washington Post-Pew Research Center poll was conducted February 24-27, with 1,009 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @PsteinhauserCNN

Filed under: Polls
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Seattle Sue

    Why would most of the public not blame a shut down on Republicans/Tea Party? After all they are still the party of no. If the Republican governor of Wisconsin is an example of the way Republicans/Tea Party does business then I do not want any part of them.

    March 2, 2011 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  2. rusty155

    I think It would be the Republican fault If the Government shut down, Because John Boehner Is not trying too work with any body It his way or the Highway. All the Republican have done since Jan. Is Mess Up from GOV. all the way too the house and Senate. The Gov trying too take away are Union, cut your pay , make you pay more for health care, and take less pension. The Republican In the House are cutting the budget , but they are only cutting from the poor and middle class not a penny from the Rich or big business or from the oil company. I know the budget has to be cut but couldn't it come from everybody. I think we could go back were everyone pay taxes like the way they were be for President Bush tax cut. At Lease this will bring money In to the Government and to bring the deficit down.

    March 2, 2011 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  3. RightTurnClyde

    If they will not get serious about cutting the budget then it will shut down anyway by as early as 2013. Not a billion here and a billion there .. trillions. Trillions. Entire entitlement programs ("sacred cows") ... veterans (WWII is about gone and so is Korea .. anyway) .. education (loans, subsidies, grants .. the boomers are old now), EEO and head start (incentives for blacks only). Agriculture, medicine (they cannot afford a health care system) ... right now they cannot afford to pay the interest on their debt. There are no more rabbits in the hat. The time has come .. or they will shut anyway.

    March 2, 2011 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  4. Rick McDaniel

    Women simply don't want anything stopped, mostly because of kids.

    Truth is, this country is a mess, and until people stand up and say "no more" will anything get better.

    March 2, 2011 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  5. T'sah from Virginia

    Was GENDER considered in the FIRST POLL?????????? How many men were involved; how many women????? Was GENDER considered in ALL of the POLLS?????

    Today – I will ONLY believe polls that are broken down by GENDER and RACE...............PERIOD!!!!! Men and women think , act and react and judge differently than MEN and on top of that, WOMEN RULE!!! Therefore, please poll by RACE and GENDER all the time!!!

    March 2, 2011 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  6. American

    Both parties should be held responsible to work together; however, I agree with the majority that Republicans in the House would be to blame for an irresponsible government shutdown.

    Speaker Boehner and his party were elected to govern, but so far, the "symbolism" has been anything but governing, wasting time & our tax dollars on nonsense that has no chance of passing, instead working together on long-term solutions and jobs.

    March 2, 2011 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  7. mayr

    if they shut down, they should not get paid! not 1 red cent!!!!!

    March 2, 2011 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  8. phoenix86

    This government needs to be shut down. The Obama administration is institutionalized incompetence. Having it out of business until 2012 would be a good thing for America.

    March 2, 2011 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  9. Rsprings

    The problem is tha most folks don't get it. The Democrats failed in their obligation to pass a budget last year. The reason they didn't pass one was because they did not want to take the heat during an election cycle for a budget that would have been bloated with more deficit spending. Now the Repubs want to pass a budget with cuts to move forward with some fiscal responsibility and the Dems want to spend more money we don't have. The only club the Repubs have is to take the path they are on to get Dems to agree with spending cuts. .

    March 2, 2011 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  10. Annie, Atlanta

    And what about the reports from Goldman Sachs and Moody's regarding the contraction of the economy if Republicans cuts go through. Or the 700,000 jobs that would be lost. Or the fact that a government shutdown would derail the economy?

    This is just like when a judge rules that "Obamacare" is unconstitutional getting all the coverage, yet when a judge rules that it's not we hear nothing.

    Or when WI State Senator Glenn Grothman calls the protesters in Madison a bunch of slobs. Once again, "crickets."

    March 2, 2011 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  11. Hotdog

    How stupid can people get? A Government shut down is not good for the country from an economical point of view. Firtst of all, the mere fact not knowing how long the shut down will be would be a strain on our economy. Secondly, Government employees and retirees and others that recieve their well deserved checks from the Government would be stopped. This money would not be circulating in the economy. We are in the process of trying to recovery from such a severe down turn in our economy that no good can come out of it.

    March 2, 2011 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  12. Charlie

    As they say, it takes two to tango. If there is a shutdown then you must blame both sides equally for not being able to get the job done. The 535 in that we the people put in charge are a team, not two teams.

    March 2, 2011 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  13. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Since when is a Government Shutdown ever a good thing? My dad is a retired WW2 vet who needs the services of the local VA for his medical needs. The Draft-Dodging, Budget-Slashing Republicans in the House and Senate are willing do deny services to those who served so they could be free to be Draft-Dodgers just so they can score points with the Kochs, Rush, Glenn, Sarah, etc., while denying the needs of part of their most stable voter base – seniors who served in the Military!

    March 2, 2011 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  14. Gaylon Barrow

    Well the GOP certainly can't shut down the government unless a lot of Democrats slide out of the fold and vote with them. So I would say if the government works or closes the doors lies with the decision of Obama on how they're to vote. Just like the National Debt blame it on Mame where it originated. The Democrats has held power in Congress for 7 years now. They're the cause of the outrageous spending. Blame Pelosi and Reid because they are the ones who encouraged the outstanding money budget for Obama's first year of spending. Three morons do not a genius make.

    March 2, 2011 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  15. Clwyd

    The poll has one good point. People would lay the blame where it belongs on the republicans. Wait till they lose any benefits that are needed and health care might be denied to people and lives threatened! I hat- republican in all forms! We see how republicans now have plans to gut our educational system here in Wisconsin!

    March 2, 2011 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  16. Darth Vadik, CA

    Don't be fooled by this poll, the moment the government shuts down there will be heII to pay.

    As individuals people can be very smart, but you put them in a group and their IQ falls faster than Giullians Presidential hopes 2 years ago.

    Just look at what is happening in Wisconsin...bankers and predatory lenders have caused this fiscal crisis, but the Republican leaders are actually blaming teachers (of all people) for the problems, and the dumb Republican crowd actually believes them.

    So when it comes to tough talk, Republicans are all for it, but let it hit them in the wallet individually and they themselves will string their own leaders on crosses like nail them there like they did Jesus 2000 years ago. Republican loyalty is only pocket deep, like I said, let this crisis hit them personally and they will cry foul louder than Sarah Palin can shriek....

    ...of course then those "entitlements" are not entitlements any more because as we know Republicans have worked hard for their money their whole lives while we the Democrats have eaten caviar off of our entitled lives...

    March 2, 2011 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  17. BeverlyNC

    Republicans are playing games with a government shutdown. They are NOT doing what is best for our country. Once again they are doing what they think will benefit THEM. They WANT AMERICA TO FAIL because it is all they have to run on in 2012. They have no integrity, character, values, and they certainly are NOT CHRISTIANS with all their hate and lies. I cannot believe anyone would trust them or vote for these betrayers of the PEOPLE.

    March 2, 2011 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  18. DIANA

    What would happen if the government shut down during spring break.? How would the orange man explain that to the families who planned on trips to DC or a National Park. "sorry kids, we can't visit the national parks this year, let's go to Cancun with all the college kids".

    March 2, 2011 10:33 am at 10:33 am |