Republicans in 24 House districts might be defeated if elections were held today, a possible election outcome that could turn over control of the chamber to the Democrats, according to new surveys by Public Policy Polling
in the wake of the government shutdown.
The polls, commissioned by the Democratic-leaning advocacy group MoveOn.org. and conducted in GOP-held House districts over the past few days, suggest the shutdown could have significant implications for the 2014 midterm elections.
“The surveys challenge the conventional wisdom that gerrymandering has put the House out of reach for Democrats,” Jim Williams of Public Policy Polling said in a memorandum put out Sunday on the surveys' findings among registered voters.
The districts polled by Public Policy included key battleground districts in Florida, Iowa, and Ohio. Endangered Republican seats in traditionally Democratic states like California and New York were also surveyed.
"Unsurprisingly, majorities of respondents in every poll indicated that they oppose Congress shutting down major activities of the federal government as a way to stop the health care law from being put into place," Williams added in a statement Sunday, The Hill reported.
While House Democrats need to pick up 17 seats to win control of the lower chamber, the surveys showed Republican incumbents running behind in head-to-head contests with generic Democratic challengers in 17 districts, according to Williams.
In four other districts, the incumbent Republican falls behind a generic Democratic candidate after respondents are told that the GOP incumbent supported the government shutdown.
Meanwhile, divisions are beginning to emerge within the Republican Party over holding the federal budget hostage to defunding or delaying Obamacare.
Rep. Pete King, R-NY, accused the tea party of leading the party on a failed mission to extend the shutdown and force a showdown with the White House over the debt ceiling.
"Don't take the dramatic step of shutting down the government unless you have a real strategy, and a chance of working," King said on Fox News Sunday, adding: "This never had a chance to work . . . and people are still out of work, and the government is still shut down.”
Other Republicans, however, still blame President Barack Obama’s refusal to negotiate for the continued stalemate.
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“My hope would be the president will reconsider his decision to sit on the side lines," Sen. John Cornyn of Texas said during an interview on CBS's "Face The Nation” Sunday.
"So far [Obama] has been AWOL," he added.
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