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Polls: Yes, The GOP Is Losing The Shutdown Fight

Budget-battle--20
AP Photo / Evan Vucci

An ABC News/Washington Post poll on Monday showed 51 percent of the public disapproving of Obama's handling of the budget talks and 61 percent disapproving of congressional Democrats -- amounting to upticks of one and five points respectively since last week. But approval of Obama's handling actually rose four points to 45 percent, while approval of congressional Democrats remained virtually unchanged at 35 percent.

Disapproval of congressional Republicans, meanwhile, jumped from 63 percent in ABC/WaPo's poll last week to 70 percent on Monday. There was little change in the GOP's approval numbers, dipping only two points in ABC/WaPo's polling to 24 percent in the last week.

According to Monday's CNN/ORC International poll, 63 percent said they are angry with the way Republicans have handled the shutdown, slightly more than the 57 percent who expressed anger at Democrats. Fifty-three percent said they are angry with the way Obama has handled the situation.

Those numbers could be seen as an extension of CNN/ORC's pre-shutdown polling, which found 46 percent of Americans saying they would blame Republicans on Capitol Hill for a shutdown compared with 36 percent who said they would fault Obama.

Pew Research Center also conducted polling ahead of the shutdown, finding two weeks ago that about as many Americans said they would blame Republicans as Obama. At that time, 36 percent said they would blame the Obama administration for such an outcome while 39 percent said they would blame the GOP.

Pew's release on Monday suggested that the public is now giving Obama a break: 30 percent said the administration is more to blame for the shutdown, while 38 percent said they blame Republicans.

Both sides have acknowledged the political implications of the shutdown. An unnamed White House official was quoted last week as saying that Obama's team is "winning," while Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) was recorded expressing similar confidence during a conversation with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

Conservatives in both Congress and the media have also argued that they are on the right side of the issue. RedState.com editor Erick Erickson wrote Tuesday that polls showing "more Americans blame the GOP than Barack Obama" actually prove "the GOP is winning." Lawmakers like Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) have argued that the crusade to defund or delay the Affordable Care Act is an adherence to public will. It has become a sticking point for the most conservative wing of the GOP and it was the impetus for the shutdown.

But polls have contradicted that. Surveys last week from Quinnipiac University and CBS News both showed more than 70 percent of Americans opposed to shutting down the government over differences related to the health care law.

About The Author

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Tom Kludt is a News Writer for Talking Points Memo based in New York City. A former research intern and polling fellow for TPM, Tom served as assistant polling editor for TPM Media's PollTracker during the 2012 campaign. Before joining TPM, he worked on political campaigns and wrote for various publications in Minnesota and his native South Dakota. Tom graduated summa cum laude from the University of South Dakota in May of 2010 with a B.A. in Political Science and History. He can be reached at tom@talkingpointsmemo.com.

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