The latest research from YouGov, conducted in the first two days of the shutdown, shows that half (50%) of Americans blame Republicans in Congress for the continuing shutdown. 11% blame Democrats in Congress while 29% blame President Obama for not ending the shutdown. This divides along partisan lines, with Democrats tending to blame Republicans and Republicans tending to blame the President or Democrats. Independents, however, are largely split, with 41% blaming Republicans in Congress and 33% blaming the President.
I’d find the narrow split among Independents unnerving, if I were the president. 33 percent blame the president for the shutdown and impasse? Given that he has already conceded sequester-level spending, and has cut the deficit in the last three years by the swiftest amount since the end of the Second World War, what else do they want him to do? If he were to abandon his signature domestic achievement after re-election, because of blackmail, we might as well give up on elections and representative government altogether. All round, this does not seem to me as a battle either side will “win” as such. Right now, as Harry Enten notes in a review of the polls, “no side is winning, one side is just losing by less”:
More Americans disapprove than approve of the job being done by all three actors in the dispute over the federal budget. President Obama comes out “ahead” in the ABC News/Washington Post poll with a -9pt approval rating. Both parties in Congress are much lower. Democrats in Congress manage to maintain a net approval of -22pt, while Republicans in Congress fall to a -37pt approval rating. These are all awful. …
A new CNN/ORC poll puts the net favorability rating of the Democratic party at -9pt: its lowest since CNN started asking the question in 2006. Republicans, too, are at their lowest level since 2006 as well, with -30pt favorability. A large portion of the difference between the parties’ favorability is that Tea Party supporters are less likely to hold a favorable view of Republicans than Tea Party opponents are of Democrats.
Meanwhile, Weigel highlights a Fox News poll with some bad numbers for Republicans. This one – compared with the last Fox News poll – stood out to me:
A tumble in the GOP’s favorable rating to 35–59, with 59 percent unfavorable marking the highest level in the history of the poll.
Of course that just might be the Tea Partiers frustrated that the GOP isn’t being radical enough in bringing the government and the economy into collapse.