The latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll is a virtual, brutal punch in the gut to the Republican Party.
Not only does it show that by a whopping margin Americans blame the Republicans for the shutdown, but it shows that since the Tea Party Republicans engineered government shutdown and the serious threat to hurl the United States into debt default Obamacare has grown MORE popular — and Obama’s popularity has risen. The poll also shows that the GOP is taking a bigger hit in this government shutdown than the one that cost the GOP the House when then Speaker Newt Gingrich shut down the government.
The Republican Party has been badly damaged in the ongoing government shutdown and debt limit standoff, with a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finding that a majority of Americans blame the GOP for the shutdown, and with the party’s popularity declining to its lowest level.
By a 22-point margin (53 percent to 31 percent), the public blames the Republican Party more for the shutdown than President Barack Obama – a wider margin of blame for the GOP than the party received during the poll during the last shutdown in 1995-96.
And if you remember, the Republicans then lost the House. Even worse for the GOP: more and more Americans now yearn for a Democratically controlled Congress:
And one year until next fall’s midterm elections, American voters prefer a Democratic-controlled Congress to a Republican-controlled one by eight percentage points (47 percent to 39 percent), up from the Democrats’ three-point advantage last month (46 percent to 43 percent).
What’s more, Obama’s political standing has remained relatively stable since the shutdown, with his approval rating ticking up two points since last month, and with the Democratic Party’s favorability rating declining just three points (from 42 percent to 39 percent).
Its pollsters seem shocked:
“If it were not so bad for the country, the results could almost make a Democrat smile,” says Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart, who conducted the survey with Republican pollster Bill McInturff.
“These numbers lead to one inescapable conclusion: The Republicans are not tone deaf; they are stone deaf.”
I’ve noted in some posts and often written about the boomerang of the Tea Party dominated GOP. We aren’t seeing rebranding but bad branding rebranding. The pollsters see that as well:
Yet what is perhaps even more worrisome for the GOP is the “boomerang” effect: As the party has used the shutdown and fiscal fight to campaign against the nation’s health-care law and for limited government, the poll shows those efforts have backfired.
For one thing, the health-care law has become more popular since the shutdown began. Thirty-eight percent see the Affordable Care Act (or “Obamacare”) as a good idea, versus 43 percent who see it as a bad idea – up from 31 percent good idea, 44 percent bad idea last month.
MORE BAD NEWS for GOPers: There’s an increase in Americans who do NOT want to see the funding totally eliminated:
In addition, 50 percent say they oppose totally eliminating funding for the law, even if it that means a partial shutdown of the government. That’s up from 46 percent who said they opposed that move in a Sept. 2013 CNBC poll.
It also shows the Republican Party is losing their bigger argument:
And by a 52-percent-to-44 percent difference, respondents believe the government should do more to solve problems. Back in June, the public was split, 48 percent to 48 percent, on whether the government should do more or less.
And even more bad news for Tea Partiers, talk show hosts, and conservative website writers: the poll provides more proof of a GOP damaging echo chamber. The country’s most popular political figure or institution?
Obama – with a 47 percent favorable, 41 percent unfavorable rating – also is the most popular political figure or institution in the poll, surpassing the Democratic Party (39 percent favorable/40 percent unfavorable); Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas (14 percent favorable/28 percent unfavorable); Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (18 percent favorable/32 percent unfavorable); and House Speaker John Boehner (17 percent favorable/42 percent unfavorable).
A few lessons that will be drawn from this, unless the political tide totally changes:
1. Republicans need to launch an investigation into whether Texas. Sen. Ted Cruz is really a Democratic Party mole.
2. As we have seen so many times, the real political path of the Republican Party seems to have been ultimately determined by the wishes of powerful talk show hosts who link up with far-right activists and the online conservative media. The fight and the anger seem to be the focus, not the intent to persuade or build enduring, strong coalitions that can pass policies and strengthen the GOP. Their advice is not always politically stellar.
–-The Week’s Ryu Spaeth has an article with must-read Tweets. It needs to be read in full. Part of it:
The news comes as House Republicans, led by Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), marched to the White House to present their plan to end the stalemate, which would entail raising the debt ceiling for six weeks and locking Obama into negotiations over the budget. Under the plan, the government shutdown would remain in place.
The delegation left the White House without a deal, which has been widely seen as an indication that Obama is not backing down from his demand that Congress both lift the debt ceiling and open the government for business — with no strings attached.
The brutal poll will only put more steel in the spines at the White House. Indeed, it appeared to mark a turning point in the debate, the starkest evidence to date that the GOP is badly losing the argument over the shutdown. Anti-shutdown conservatives on Twitter are vocally bemoaning the extensive, self-inflicted damage done to the party in the space of a mere week.
Once again, thanks Crackpot Caucus. This couldn’t happen without you.
GOP seeing the worst numbers in the history of our politics. Dems would be crazy to bail them out. No way should they accept a paltry six week extension. Republicans claim they want to negotiate, then by definition Dems should counter with a demand for at least 24 weeks. With the people tired of the shutdown already, let the GOPers argue against ending it. Not that I’m holding my breath for that.
Methinks this wsj/nbc poll may hasten the reopening of your federal government.
— Jonathan Martin (@jmartNYT) October 11, 2013
GOP pollster Bill McInturff, who does the NBC poll, warned Rs last month this was going to happen: http://t.co/db2qZdKIcg
— Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) October 10, 2013
— Christopher N. Fox (@ChristopherNFox) October 10, 2013
WSJ/NBC poll suggests Ted Cruz is the best thing to happen to Obamacare since the SCOTUS decision.
— Karen Tumulty (@ktumulty) October 10, 2013
The new NBC/WSJ poll is a slap across the face for the GOP http://t.co/NZFUixnzVL
— Doug Mataconis (@dmataconis) October 10, 2013
GOP shows worst rating in history of NBC/WSJ poll, 24% positive, 53% negative. Net negative views even in GOP-held House districts
— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) October 10, 2013
The GOP's 24% favorability rating in the new NBC/WSJ poll exactly matches Richard Nixon's rock bottom in Gallup http://t.co/V4tbKY1t8q
— Michael Crowley (@CrowleyTIME) October 10, 2013