Poll: Americans Evenly Split on Blame for Government Shutdown

Poll: Americans Evenly Split on Blame for Government Shutdown

According to a new poll out on Monday from Pew Research Center, 39 percent of Americans say they will blame Republicans for a government shutdown if it occurs after the House of Representatives passed a continuing resolution without funding for Obamacare; 36 percent said that President Obama would be to blame, with 17 percent saying both should be blamed. In 1995, by contrast, Washington Post/ABC News found that 46 percent said a shutdown would blame Republicans in Congress for a shutdown, with just 27 percent blaming President Clinton.

Overall, 57 percent say they want to avoid a government shutdown with compromise, while 33 percent say that principle matters more than shutting down the government. The greatest gap comes from Tea Partiers, who believe by a 71 percent to 20 percent margin that the government should shut down if it means standing on principle; overall, 49 percent of Republicans agree with that position, while just 18 percent of Democrats do. Independents are split 52 percent to 36 percent in favor of compromising to avoid a shutdown. Independents are also 46 percent in opposition to the House Republican continuing resolution, while Tea Partiers approve it by an 87 percent to 10 percent margin.

Tea Partiers fear a government shutdown significantly less than Republicans more generally or Democrats; just 39 percent of Tea Partiers believe a government shutdown will have a major effect on the economy, with 51 percent of Republicans believing that there will be a major effect, and 71 percent of Democrats believing the same.

No matter the percentages, the public is not watching the potential government shutdown closely. 25 percent of Americans say they are watching very closely, as opposed to 37 percent during the fiscal cliff negotiations, and 41 percent during the last debt ceiling situation in 2011.