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. kvining

    The Republicans love to crow about the hit Obama's numbers are taking, but they seem to miss the fact that Obama is not the one who is up for election in 2014. I think this is going to turn out real ugly for the GOP.

    October 10, 2013 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  2. Bootstomper

    Ted Cruz should be brought up on treason charges.

    October 10, 2013 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  3. Malory Archer


    More CNN (MSM) and liberals' fingers are pointing at the Republicans.


    It ain't just the "libruls" and "librul" media, babe. It's the ENTIRE PLANET minus the teabag toddlers.

    October 10, 2013 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  4. justachick

    I'm sorry – as a tax paying – well above middle class earning woman who's been screwed by this jacked up insurance situation – I'm glad Obama is holding his ground. Far too many people fall to the financial woes of lack of insurance – and not because they didn't do their do diligence. His stance is literally the difference between me not being able to pay for a surgery I needed or being able to have a kid – because no one would insure me.... even though I've always had insurance and done my part.....

    October 10, 2013 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  5. Gurgyl

    GOP is in biggest mess now.

    October 10, 2013 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  6. ImvotingforHillary

    I thought Obama was a socialist dictator? If he is one how come we are shutdown? You righties can spin it all you want the FACT is the GOP CONgress is solely to blame for this shutdown. They don't like Obama because he is not their color so they are making it hard on him. If McCain had won and done "McCainCare" they would have been all for it and they know it. It will be my pleasure to vote straight Democrat in 2014 and 2016 and there are many out there who are thinking the same thing. I am doing all I can to make sure President Obama has a Congress he can work with his last two years in office.

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


    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.
    Which party ran on shutting down the government? Which one did shut down the government? Why, that would be the GOP.

    October 10, 2013 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  8. Mrs b

    So disappointed in my Representative. He is not a statesman, but has voted with the right wing – how he is told to vote – since he was elected. I applaud the Republicans who are breaking with the radical element in the party.

    October 10, 2013 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  9. George Thomas Clark

    This mess is because of a gross miscalculation by some Republicans in the House of Representatives. They thought they could make Obama cave again in negotiations like he did in 2011. However, Obama is no longer running for re-election. The Republican efforts now are like someone holding a gun to a dying man and ordering him to change is will or they will shoot him. It is not going to work. The Republicans have no one else to blame but themselves for their stupidity.

    October 10, 2013 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  10. Duke

    Why can't CNN jut show us the poll data? Instead of explining the numbers we can't see?

    October 10, 2013 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  11. Malory Archer

    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.


    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.

    As for your "free ride" nonsense, the previous occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue was given such a "free ride" that it amounted to a media blackout. In fact, CNN shut down their political story message threads during most of that 8-year reign of error in order to protect the dauphin prince from the "hateful" comments that might be posted by those mean ol' "libruls".

    October 10, 2013 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  12. Sandra Tambini

    Oh, please. This article is just being polite. The GOP is doomed. And I'M being polite!

    October 10, 2013 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  13. Paul

    Unfortunately, by this time a year from now, these feelings will all be forgotten, and the great majority (probably 95-98%) of these lawmakers will be re-elected. And the electorate will expect different results from re-electing the same people to the same office. What's the definition of insanity? Answer: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. By that definition, the American electorate is insane. And that's not going to change!

    October 10, 2013 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  14. Dr Tod Policandriotes

    Please explain logically why everyone should not have the same health care coverage? I do not see why any one person should have better health care than another. It actually does not make any sense unless you think it should be survival of the richest.......... Does a rich person DESERVE better health care than a poor or average person just because they are wealthy?

    October 10, 2013 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  15. John

    And the biggest hit went to Obama, which is deserved. Even the liberal AP says he's down to 37%.

    October 10, 2013 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  16. distant voice

    Anyone who stands in the way of our Government burying our children and grandchildren in an insurmountable debt has no chance with the American people what-so-ever. I've never witnessed a generation so self-obsessed or a congress and President so focused on burying our country under a mountain range of debt. I don't appreciate the way the Republicans go about it, or the fact that they only want to cut social programs, but at least they seem to have a sense as to what's happening in our country. The Democrats continue on their rampaging spending without a care or concern for our monstrous national debt.

    October 10, 2013 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  17. Nathan

    I am happy to see that there are still some sane, intelligent Americans that understand that this is a two party problem.

    October 10, 2013 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  18. Lynda/Minnesota

    "The GOP/Tea Party have done themselves in and they did it by themselves with their un-American right wing actions."

    Amazingly they are STILL trying to hang on to the TeaPers coattails ... strike that ... tri-cornered tea dangling hats.

    October 10, 2013 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  19. Sniffit

    "They are all to blame"

    The GOP/Teatrolls changed the rules just so they could force a shutdown. The false equivalence game is over.

    "He is the one that is acting unconstitutionally by modifying the ACA without Congressional approval five times in the past year."

    Legal precedence disagrees with you completely. Chief Justice William Rehnquist in the leading case on the subject, Heckler v. Chaney: Courts must respect an agency's presumptively superior grasp of "the many variables involved in the proper ordering of its priorities." He went on to say that courts could lose their deference to Executive Branch judgment if an "agency has consciously and expressly adopted a general policy that is so extreme as to amount to an abdication of its statutory responsibilities." The cases show that this situation is nothing like the situations where courts have found an "abdication of [the executives'] statutory responsibilities." You're just regurgitating a talking point they fed you that they themselves knew was inaccurate.

    October 10, 2013 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  20. Eagle0432

    When 99% of left wing main stream media reports blame Republicans and most are too busy watching Dancing With the Stars there is only one response. DUH!

    October 10, 2013 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  21. FredInIT

    The POTUS has a limit on power...I think Congress should as well...

    Constitutional Amendment:
    Switch House from 2-years to 4-years w/ 1/2 of the House elected every other year. Similar to the Senate's 6-year cycle.

    Maximum of 10 years in the House. 2.5 terms
    Maximum of 15 years in the Senate. 2.5 terms

    With a total maximum of 25 years as a Federally Elected official (House, Senate, VP, and/or Pres.).

    If you can't play Mr. Smith, go to Washington, and get it done in 25 years you are nothing but deadweight and are worthless in your office.

    Our politicians have forgotten that they, and the rest of the Federal Govt. are there to serve US – the citizenry of the United States. Not the corporations, unions, nor the lobbyists. Joe Plumber and Jane Teacher.

    Time for us to take our government back – from both parties.


    October 10, 2013 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  22. GonzoinHouston

    It occurs to me that this fight isn't the pubbers versus the demmies at all; it's the TP's against the pubbers. By threatening to primary everyone in sight, the TP's have successfully intimidated 80% of the remaining pubbers. Even the Boehner bows down to kiss their, err, ring.

    The funny part is, all those pubbers who thought that if they did as they were told they would be safe from a primary challenge were wrong. The TP is going to primary most of them anyway, just because they can. When the smoke settles in 2014, the TP will control the GOP, and the democrats will control both houses of congress.

    October 10, 2013 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  23. Randy Jeffreys

    I believe the American people are being treated like cattle and will accept what ever the politicians dish out. They use the political parties to divide our nation to create this drama. Please do no get caught up in backing a party, stand behind what ever you believe in. Don't go to the polls and vote a ticket, do a little research and determine which of these political figures serves you best. I think the people voted in office now are only interested in what betters themselves and not the nation, I have always leaned toward the republican party but I see nothing wrong with a way to get every American insurance but I wouldn't suggest going and buying a Cadillac if you can only afford a Ford escort. I don't know this but all the people sent home with federal jobs I would bet these politicians still received their pay. I did hear their workout facility was still operating. Our elected officials are using our tax dollars to fly, travel enjoy trips and enjoy life. I have elected these people by as little as how many times I have heard their name or seen on tv and have promised myself I will spend more time learning who these people are in the future. I am sick of how our government treating us.

    October 10, 2013 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  24. L Horton

    Fix the Gerrymandering issue and they will care. No lawmaker should be able to insulate themselves from a moderate electorate. Our current form of re-districting allows just that. We need to FIX this and we will eliminate the Extreme partisanship we see in Congress. We PICK THEM they should not pick us!!

    October 10, 2013 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  25. OldSchool

    Nobody who looks at this situation objectively can arrive at any other conclusion than it is the fault of the GOP, yet they have the gall to try and deflect blame? They simultaneously cheer the shutdown of the government, while pointing fingers at others. If it is such a victory why don't you own it then?

    October 10, 2013 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
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