Polls: Public Blames Both Parties for Shutdown, GOP Draws Most Heat

Image: Polls:  Public Blames Both Parties for Shutdown, GOP Draws Most Heat Normally packed with tourists, the stairs leading from the Capitol Visitors Center to the Capitol Rotunda were empty as the government shutdown entered a second week on Oct. 7.

Tuesday, 08 Oct 2013 08:37 AM

By Melanie Batley

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As the country enters the eighth day of a partial government shutdown, Republican lawmakers appear to be taking most of the heat, although the public blames both parties and President Barack Obama for the budget impasse, a series of new polls indicate.

The latest Washington Post/ABC News poll of 1,005 adults, shows that 70 percent of those surveyed disapprove of the way congressional Republicans have handled the budget negotiations, with 51 percent saying they "strongly" disapprove.

That figure represents a seven-point increase from a Post-ABC poll released barely a week ago on Sept. 30 showing that 63 percent disapprove of how Republicans have dealt with the budget issues.

By comparison, the new Post/ABC poll taken Oct. 2-6 shows that 51 percent disapprove of President Barack Obama's handling of budget negotiations, with 39 percent of the public strongly disapproving. Sixty-one percent of respondents also said they disapprove of how congressional Democrats have handled the budget mess.

In the Sept. 30 survey, 50 percent of participants said they disapproved of the president handling of the shutdown crisis while Democrats drew a 56 percent disapproval rating.

A new CNN/ORC International survey of 1,009 adults also found that more people blame Republicans than Democrats or Obama for the shutdown, though, again, both sides are taking the heat.

According to the poll conducted Oct. 3-6, 63 percent of those questioned say they are angry at Republicans for the way they have handled the shutdown, compared to 57 percent who feel that way about the Democrats and 53 percent who feel similarly about the president.

"It looks like there is more than enough blame to go around and both parties are being hurt by the shutdown," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

A CBS News/ New York Times survey released October 3 also showed more people blaming Republicans for the shutdown than Democrats.

Meanwhile, the CNN/ORC survey also indicates growing fears about the impact of the shutdown, with most respondents saying it is causing a crisis or major problems for the country.

Specifically, 18 percent of the respondents described the shutdown as a "crisis," while 49 percent said it has already caused major problems.

The CNN/ORC results mirror a Gallup survey released October 4 showing that seven in 10 believe the shutdown is causing a crisis or major problems. http://www.gallup.com/poll/165260/americans-current-shutdown-serious.aspx

"That's a higher level of worry than in November 1995, when the government shut down because the Democrats, led by President Bill Clinton, and the Republicans, led by House Speaker Newt Gingrich, could not agree on funding. In 1995, 12 percent felt the shutdown at that time was causing a crisis, and 44 percent thought it was a major problem," Holland said.

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