More Bad Poll Numbers For The GOP On Government Shutdown
Eight hours into a shutdown that began more with a whimper than a bang as the House came up with the rather lame-brained idea of finally, after five months, suggesting a Conference Committee, though on the CR not on the budget, we get more polling indicating that the GOP may have backed itself into a corner:
A new Quinnipiac University poll released on Tuesday shows voters overwhelmingly oppose Congress shutting down the federal government as a way to stop the 2010 health care law from being implemented, matching other public polling that shows that Democrats enter the shutdown with the upper hand.
The Quinnipiac poll also shows Democrats with a 9-point lead on the 2014 House generic ballot — a historically wide edge, despite the structural advantages that make a Democratic takeover of the House unlikely.
Overall, the poll shows voters are split on the health care law: 45 percent support it, while 47 percent oppose it. Other polls have shown stronger opposition to the law, however.
But despite their overall ambivalence toward the law, voters oppose efforts to defund it. Just 34 percent think Congress should cut off funding, and support is even lower when those defunding efforts are tied to a government shutdown (22 percent) or raising the debt limit (27 percent). A wide majority, 72 percent, oppose shutting down the government to cut off funding the health care law.
Looking ahead to the 2014 elections, Democrats lead Republicans on the generic ballot, the poll shows, 43 percent to 34 percent. Four percent of registered voters say they prefer someone else, 2 percent wouldn’t vote, and 17 percent are undecided.
The 9-point advantage is the largest Quinnipiac has measured since the spring of 2009, in the first months of the Obama administration. The yawning lead isn’t that inconsistent with other Quinnipiac surveys conducted this year: In two July surveys, for example, Democrats held 4- and 5-point leads.
Despite the Democratic advantage on this question, GOP retention of the House seems likely at this stage. The generic ballot has overstated Democratic support in the past, and the Quinnipiac poll is a survey of all registered voters, many of whom won’t cast ballots in a midterm election.
Indeed, a Generic Ballot among Registered Voters this far out doesn’t really tell us much of anything useful. Nonetheless, the negative numbers that the GOP is getting over it’s performance during the shutdown crisis, which will quickly morph into a crisis over the debt ceiling if not resolved quickly, is not something that the party can afford to dismiss. Perhaps if the shutdown only lasts a couple days, which given how things went on Capitol Hill last night seems unlikely, then things won’t be so bad. If this goes on, however, then perhaps political pressure will force some action here.