Republican Party leaders like Mitch McConnell (right) and John Boehner (left) are coming out worse than President Obama in polls on the government shutdown. PHOTO: Reuters
The Republican Party is doing serious damage to its brand by tying the government shutdown to Obamacare, according to a slew of new polls. This narrative hasn’t played out yet, and opinions may shift once the government decides to fund itself, but for now the bulk of the blame for the government shutdown is on the Republican Party.
The crux of the issue seems to be that Americans disapprove of coupling a government shutdown with defunding Obamacare, and there’s no legitimate way for the Republican Party to pretend that that’s not what they’re doing.
A Quinnipiac poll found that Americans disapprove tying the government shutdown to Obamacare by a whopping 72-22. A National Journal poll got similar results with Americans disapproving of that coupling 63-27. CNBC respondents agreed 59-19 that they did not want Obamacare defunded if it meant shutting down the government. And CBS/New York Times and Reuters each found that Americans blame the Republican Party more than Obama and the Democrats for the government shutdown, 44-35 and 46-36 respectively.
As for the Republican Party itself, their generic Congressional ballot polling dropped to 34% in the latest Quinnipiac poll, 9 points behind the Democratic Party.
It’s not clear how much all of this will matter by the 2014 elections, but for now the American public has enough of an understanding of this whole situation to see that the Republican Party is causing the government shutdown, and they don’t like it.