Twenty-nine percent of likely voters would blame Democrats for a government shutdown, compared to 23 percent who would hold Republicans responsible, according to a new poll conducted for The Hill.
The results are surprising because most people blamed the GOP for the last government shutdown, which occurred during President Clinton’s first term. A week before the 1995 shuttering, polls showed the public blamed Republicans by a two-to-one-margin.
This is surprising to me but may speak to the difference as to how President Obama is perceived versus Bill Clinton. Bill Clinton always came off as a good ol’ boy POL who wold compromise if there was an advantage to him. Hence, the shutdown in 1995 was spun as a radical move by the GOP and Newt Gingrich.
Republicans have a substantial edge among independents: Thirty-four percent would blame Democrats, while only 19 percent would blame the GOP.
However, there are dangers for both parties, the poll indicates. A plurality of voters, 43 percent, would blame both Republicans and Democrats if the lights go out at midnight on March 5. Forty-five percent of respondents said neither party would benefit politically from a shutdown.
This compares to 14 percent who think Democrats would benefit and 18 percent who said Republicans would.
It is in both parties interest to NOT shut down the government.
I think the biggest winner though may very well be President Obama who would take the high road and slam the GOP. So, since Obama is not enjoying good poll ratings, the Republicans may wish to deny him a bump up with a stagnant or declining economy. They can always blame him and the Democrats without the turmoil of a government shutdown.