The shutdown is over and the world did not end. While the talking heads keep talking about how the Republican Party brand is damaged forever, recent history show their predictions to be wrong.
The chart below shows the 1993-2001 segment of a Gallup party approval chart for the past 20 years.
Look at the giant GOP approval drop beginning in1998, that was the beginning of the Republican movement to Impeach Bill Clinton, as the the House voted for impeachment and the Senate held the trial (February 1999) GOP approval took a nose dive. That low of 31% was the lowest approval rating for the GOP ever (until earlier this week).
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The second chart is a blow up of the disapproval chart for the same time period, which mirrors the approval numbers.
Yet just 21 months later the Republicans won the White House.
Most in the media claim that the experience of 1995/96 hurt the GOP, however according to Gallup that
is a fantasy imagined by the liberal media.The two shutdowns of 1995/6
did little to impact Americans’ views of the President or the Speaker of the
House Newt Gingrich.
Before the U.S. government shutdown on Nov. 14, 1995, President Clinton’s job approval stood at 52%. It dipped to 42% in an early January Gallup survey, but bounced back up to 52% by mid-March. His favorable rating took even less of a hit, falling just five percentage points to 54% in mid-January 1996 — after the second shutdown ended — from 59% in early November. And, his favorablility climbed back up to 58% in mid-March 1996.
Americans’ views of the U.S. speaker of the House at the time, Newt Gingrich, are a bit more complicated. While Gingrich’s job approval suffered some in the short term, his favorability rating actually ticked up slightly just after the shutdown ended. But by February and March of 1996, Americans’ views of Gingrich were right back to where they were prior to the budget battle — relatively low — and stayed that way.
This is not to say that there will be no long-term change in public
opinion after this budget battle is finished, but history suggests the definitive “Republicans are screwed” story being propagated by the
mainstream media may be more wishful thinking than truth.