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

    More CNN (MSM) and liberals' fingers are pointing at the Republicans. I think there are about an equal number of regular American fingers pointing at the Republicans, Democrats, and the President. They are all to blame. They are all spoiled children that need to be voted out of office. The President needs to stop stomping his feet in defiance and parlay. He is the one that is acting unconstitutionally by modifying the ACA without Congressional approval five times in the past year.

    October 10, 2013 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  2. Malory Archer


    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.


    From your fingertips to the Goddess' ears!

    October 10, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  3. Elliotu

    I am a registered Republican but I am letting the GOP know that this year on account of closing the government and what this is doing to the economy I will not give a dime to any Republican candidate. Money talks and I hope the GOP hears.

    October 10, 2013 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  4. Mary

    We cannot trust the polls. Where don't know where they were done. Interview young people and you will get a huge difference. It is clear the GOP doesn't want the Obamacare because they are sponsored by the rich people and big insurance companies and rich doctors. They are the big supporters for their political campaign. Why GOP don't call for a vote?? because they will lose. GOP doesn't care about american people. They care about power. The GOP house representative should change their party to independent and this way GOP would not be the majority anymore.

    October 10, 2013 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  5. Hogan's Goat

    Put me down as unhappy with the GOP. They have been so hijacked by their fringe that they are no longer a legit political party.

    October 10, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  6. nc_mike

    But I thought the GOP was winning this battle?

    October 10, 2013 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  7. Murthy

    The surveys show that the 28 to 40% people who are still supporting the republicans are first rate idiots who do not know what government and governance are. With people like this USA does not need enemies and china and Russia should simply fund republicans to derail USA ,instead of wasting their men ,materials and money otherwise.

    October 10, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  8. Robert Gertz

    The latest blackmailer's deal to "temporarily" raise the debt ceiling and do nothing about the shutdown while "negotiations" are held is not likely to raise GOP polling points.

    October 10, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  9. Dan Smith

    Both political parties looks terrible. The President looks even far damaged by all this. He is not and never was a LEADER, he is a community organizer that was not ready for a big roll.

    October 10, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  10. Don

    It is obvious the Republican take the biggest share of the blame. First they want to repeal a law that hasn't even been fully implemented saying it is full of flaws and a job killer, with no clear evidence this is the case. Then they want to shut down the government if they don't get their way, which they do. Reasonable don't like bullys and those that support bullying usually disappear when the fun is over. Well the fun is over, and the Republicans are caught holding the bag.

    October 10, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  11. Jose

    I will vote for none of the above. I will not vote for anyone who has been involved in this mess.

    October 10, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  12. 2020

    GOP falls off the cliff, jump into the lake or disappear in thin air, NO BODY CARES!!!!

    They did it to themselves, Ted Cruz.......Eric Cantor should be kicked out of the House, They are too stubborn to be educated, and too stupid to learn. They hurt the ordinary American too much to be forgiven. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

    October 10, 2013 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  13. Marty, FL

    The TGOP unbelievably have become anti-business in their despicable tea party shutdown, destroying our economy.

    It's shameful ideology instead of passing a clean bipartisan CR.

    Can't wait to campaign & vote the TGOP OUT 2014.

    October 10, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  14. Julie

    History is going to show the effects that GOP was on target with this strategy.

    October 10, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  15. Waffle Much

    This stupid stunt backfired big time.
    Mid terms will be fun.
    Goodbye Teaheads.

    October 10, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  16. Malory Archer


    Funny, the only place I could find that 37% figure was in a National Review article – AND they didn't cite the "poll" they were referring to. Not that this wil lmake it past CNN's agenda-fueled "moderators", but acccoring to Rasmussen (not exactly a "librul" source BTW):

    Thursday, October 10, 2013

    The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Thursday shows that 51% of Likely U.S. Voters approve of President Obama's job performance. Forty-seven percent (47%) disapprove.

    Gallup gives him high 40s.

    October 10, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  17. Rudy NYC

    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.
    "Deficits don't matter." I just thought that I'd remind you of what's actually worse for the country.

    October 10, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  18. Carl Hudson

    A succinct analysis is simply that those House Republicans were elected by an electorate woefully out-of-step with the rest of America. This translates to delusional behavior and national embarrassment. People like Boehner have themselves to blame for not taking a principled stand against them.

    October 10, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    Zap: You may "think" there are an equal number of regular Americans blaming both parties equally but the point of the article is that the data does not support that conclusion.

    October 10, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  20. ridiculousness

    100% republican manufactured crisis. The president should not negotiate with extortionists and anarchists intent on shutting down the USA

    October 10, 2013 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  21. TKO


    That's not true. There is open dissent and rancor among the GOP and its followers for the way it has (mis)handled itself. Read the poll. read the papers. Turn off FOX

    October 10, 2013 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  22. jimmy

    we can blame congress from now until doomsday but the way the districts are drawn, almost no incumbent will ever be voted out of office. the country has been increasingly locked for decades in a completely polarized situation where the northeast and west coast are liberal, the rest of the country is conservative. how about we split into three countries that can each have their own unique economic and social policies, that their respective citizens will be less polarized about, and maintain a loose confederation for national defense only? this country has long been to big and complicated to be rules by one government.

    October 10, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  23. william

    I just think that we are going to start something. Every time the previous govt. has passed a law and the next year when the budget is due are they going to hold us hostage until they get what they want. After a bill or programs become law move on, like it or not. I think the new reps are more to blame than the older ones. They are spoiled little snots who, if they don't get their way they will just take their ball and go home.

    October 10, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  24. Mopery

    I wouldn't vote for the Republicans if they paid me to, sorry Koch brothers.

    October 10, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  25. Justice786

    Time to vote out all the teabaggers, and replace them with people with a more balanced perspective. We have become the ridicule of the democratic world. Boehner needs also to be replaced.

    October 10, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
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