The doom and gloom of the mainstream media and the GOP establishment may be overstated. In a new poll Pew research reports that in the unlikely event of a government shutdown 39% of the public would blame the GOP, 36% would blame Obama, and 17% would blame both sides.
Back in 1995 when a Washington Post/ABC News poll asked a similar question
and found that 46% said a shutdown would mainly be the fault of the GOP; just 27% said the bulk of the blame would fall on President Clinton.
Unlike 2005 the GOP isn’t going into this crisis with the public opinion stacked against them.
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Interestingly the poll reports that with the House bill GOP leaders are definitely listening to their constituency
Among the public generally, 50% oppose the House Republicans’ proposal to cut off funding for the 2010 health care law as part of any budget agreement, while 38% favor this proposal. The goal of defunding Obamacare is widely shared among Republicans: Fully 87% of Tea Party Republicans and 61% of non-Tea Party Republicans support the proposal of House Republicans that any budget agreement include a cutoff of funding for the health care law.
Independents are against the strategy by a modest plurality of 46-40% within the margin of error (-/+ 6.2% for the independents).
However, there is a substantial divide in the Republican base over how far to go to achieve the goal of defunding the 2010 health care law. By 54% to 38%, non-Tea Party Republicans would like to see a compromise on the budget, even it is one they do not particularly agree with. Most Tea Party Republicans (71%) want lawmakers who share their views to stand by their principles, even it that leads to a government shutdown.
In the end they won’t have to worry about that because it’s hard to believe there will be a government shut down, but if it there is according to this pollster there will be no repeat of the Gingrich shut down,it will hurt the President almost as much as it will hurt the GOP.