American Public To Congress: Just Say No To A Shutdown

Public sentiment seems to be decidedly against the idea of shutting the government:

PRINCETON, NJ — With Congress facing a midnight Friday deadline to pass a federal budget before a partial government shutdown occurs, a new Gallup poll finds Americans rooting for a deal. By 58% to 33%, more Americans want government leaders who share their views on the budget to back a compromise and avert a shutdown rather than hold out for a budget they agree with.

These findings are virtually unchanged from February.

The difficulty for House Speaker John Boehner and other Republican leaders is that rank-and-file Republicans’ views on this question are starkly different from those of the public at large. The slight majority of Republicans nationwide, 51%, want the people in government who share their views to hold out for a budget they agree with rather than compromise. This compares with 27% of Democrats and 29% of independents who say the same.\

Making things even more difficult for the GOP is the fact that Americans still place more trust in President Obama and the Democrats when it comes to budgetary issues:

The good news is that voters are still behind the GOP when it comes to spending cuts. According to the poll, 45% say that President Obama and the Democrats aren’t going far enough in theirs spending cut proposals, far more than the number who say that the GOP is going to far. In some sense, then, the GOP has the public on its side in this debate, but not to the extent of backing the GOP position to the point of letting the government shutdown. For Republicans, the lesson seems to be clear – make a deal, avoid a shutdown, and move on to the far more contentious battles over the Fiscal Year 2012 budget to come.


FILED UNDER: Congress, Deficit and Debt, Public Opinion Polls, US Politics, , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Falze says:

    So the people don’t want a shutdown and they lean towards the GOP position. A normal person would interpret that as the people wanting the Democrats to get more towards the GOP position and get a deal done. But you interpret it as a slapdown of the GOP. What a surprise. If you favor a compromise getting down and one of the sides’ position, that means you want THE OTHER SIDE to move. Seriously, how can you both note that the numbers favoring the GOP are “far more than” those leaning towards Obama, but conclude that “the lesson seems to be clear” that it is the GOP that needs to “make a deal”?

  2. Falze says:

    *sigh* down-w+e=done.

  3. john personna says:

    The public is still behind the GOP because a minority don’t think the Dems go far enough. Right ….

  4. Patrick T. McGuire says:

    For Republicans, the lesson seems to be clear – make a deal, avoid a shutdown, and move on…

    Given that the Republicans control only one half of Congress, what is the lesson for the Democrats?

  5. Hey Norm says:

    I think Congress should just go ahead an pass Ryan’s Tea Party Manifesto and get on with colonizing the Middle East.