CNN Shutdown Poll: Plenty of blame to go around
CNN News Wire | 10/7/2013, 2:40 p.m.
Most Americans say the government shutdown is causing a crisis or major problems for the country, according to a new national poll.
And while a CNN/ORC International survey also indicates that slightly more people are angry at Republicans than Democrats or President Barack Obama for the shutdown, it is clear that both sides are taking a hit.
The poll, conducted over the weekend, was released on Monday, nearly one week into the partial shutdown over a push by tea party backed GOP lawmakers trying to dismantle or defund Obama’s signature health care reform law.
According to the poll, 63% of those questioned say they are angry at the Republicans for the way they have handled the shutdown.
“But the Democrats are not getting off scot-free. Fifty-seven percent of Americans are also angry at the way the Democrats are dealing with the shutdown. And a 53% majority say they are also angry at President Obama,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “It looks like there is more than enough blame to go around and both parties are being hurt by the shutdown.”
The CNN poll results are similar to those from a new Pew Research Center poll also released Monday and surveys from Gallup and CBS News/New York Times surveys conducted last week, which indicate slightly more people blaming — or angry at — Republicans than Democrats or the president for the shutdown.
Not surprisingly, huge majorities of Democrats are angry at the Republicans, and huge majorities of Republicans are angry at Obama and Democrats. Independents are equally angry at all sides, with 59% of Independents very or somewhat angry at the Democrats, six in 10 angry at the GOP, and 58% angry at Obama.
The poll indicates that 18% of the public says the shutdown is a crisis and an additional 49% say the shutdown has caused major problems.
“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% felt the shutdown at that time was causing a crisis and 44% thought it was a major problem,” adds Holland.
The two-thirds who say the shutdown is causing a crisis or major problems is similar to the seven in 10 who said the same thing in the Gallup poll.
According to the CNN survey, Democrats are most concerned about the shutdown, although a majority of Independents and Republicans also say the shutdown is causing a crisis or a major problem.
There’s also a gender gap, with three-quarters of women but only 57% of men saying the shutdown has caused a crisis or major problems.
Some 800,000 federal workers have been furloughed due to the shutdown, with many government services and agencies are closed, suspended.
The CNN poll was conducted October 3-6 by ORC International, with 1,009 adults nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey’s overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.