Polls: Americans Would Blame Republicans And Obama If Government Shuts Down
A poll conducted by the Pew Research Center between March 30 and April 3 showed that 39 percent of respondents would blame Republicans for a shutdown, while 36 percent would fault the Obama Administration. Sixteen percent said they would blame both equally. The newly released figures represent little change from the same poll conducted in February, which showed 36 percent would blame Republicans, while 35 percent would fault the Obama administration.
Another poll conducted by The Washington Post revealed similar findings. In that poll--which was conducted between March 31 and April 7--the Obama administration and Republicans were tied at 37 percent over which side was to blame for a potential shutdown. Fifteen percent of respondents said both were equally to blame.
The Pew poll also showed that a majority of respondents (55%) preferred to see both sides compromise over a budget, even if they do not agree with the budget. However, as Pew noted: "Republicans are divided over whether to stand on principle or accept a budget they disagree with. Half of Republicans (50%) say lawmakers who share their views should stand by their principles even if that means the government shuts down; 43 percent say lawmakers should be more willing to compromise, even if that results in a budget they disagree with."
Other key findings of the Pew poll:
- a majority (65%) of those who shared the beliefs of the Tea Party said they would prefer lawmakers to stick to their principles rather than compromise.
- Republicans and GOP leaners who either have no opinion of the Tea Party, or disagree with the movement, say lawmakers should stand by their beliefs.
- Democrats and Independents were far more likely to say that lawmakers should come to a compromise in order to avoid a shutdown.
- Republicans were more likely to blame the Obama Administration for the impasse, while Democrats were more likely to blame the GOP.
The results of both polls stand in stark contrast to a poll conducted by the Washington Post in 1995 prior to the government shutdown. In that poll, more respondents faulted congressional Republicans for the then-impending shutdown, while just a quarter blamed the Clinton administration.
Key findings of the current Washington Post poll included:
- a majority (51%) believes the Obama administration is playing politics with the issue, as opposed to actually trying to solve the budget problem.
- a bigger majority (62%) think Republicans in Congress are playing politics with the budget issue.
Republicans and Democrats have until Friday night to come up with a budget agreement or else the government will come to a halt as it did at the end of 1995.