Shutdown polling has grim news for Republicans. 72% oppose GOP shutdown strategy to block ObamaCare, including 44% of Republicans. Three-in-four independents (74%-19%) object.
But even worse, conventional wisdom that Republicans’ shutdown could not harm them in the midterms because only older white people vote in midterms, especially in the midterm of a president’s second term, is not as sure of a bet as the beltway has assured the GOP.
A new Quinnipiac poll shows voters picking a generic Democrat over a generic Republican 43% to 34%, which they point out is the widest Democratic margin measured so far.
Asked “If the election for the U.S. House of Representatives were being held today, would you vote for the Republican candidate, or for the Democratic candidate in your district?”
The last time Republicans were almost this low was in April, but they managed to damage the Democratic brand with the summer of fake scandals.
Speaker John Boehner tried to warn House Republicans to no avail, and he continues to try to impose reality upon the newbie Tea nihilists today, warning them that they could lose their majority in 2014 as a result of shutting down the government.
The same clueless Republicans driving the stupid in D.C. feel very assured right now that this shutdown won’t hurt them. They don’t seem to appreciate history (Newt Gingrich shutdown Clinton), polls, or reality. Nothing breaks through the cloud of narcissist tea hubris, crippled as it is by its ignorance and inexperience, and further broken by Republicans’ collective refusal to “believe” in facts. These folks live in the epistemic bubble of their highly cultivated and well funded corporate cult.
Quinnipiac cautioned that we are far out from the midterms, but that the GOP brand is taking a beating, “In general, the Republican brand is down as evidenced by the Democrats’ unusually large lead in the so called generic ballot. But we have 13 months before an election can translate this public opinion edge into electoral gains and in politics that amount of time is forever.”
Caveat: The beltway also bought into the Republican narrative of who was going to turn out to vote in 2012, and that is why no one objected to the obviously skewed polls. The conventional wisdom was that Obama voters had soured on him and wouldn’t turn out. But of course, the real “Obama voters” turned out in droves, and even stood in line for hours and faced numerous obstacles in order to cast their ballots.
“On almost all questions, voters see President Obama as more reasonable, and better able to handle the issues,” Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, explained. “But it is not because the president is beloved. He remains under water in job approval and is tied with Congressional Republicans on who best handles the budget deficit. Voters are angry at almost everyone in Washington over their inability to keep the trains running, but they are madder at the Republicans than the Democrats.”
In the end, when Republicans refuse to govern, their actions bring everyone’s approval ratings down. They count on this consistent result of dysfunction. However, in this shutdown, Republicans are too clearly leading the suicide bus over the cliff and they’re doing it over an issue that baffles most Americans. Even if people disagree with ObamaCare, they don’t want Republicans to shut the government down over it.
If you’re wondering where Paul Ryan is hiding for the days leading up to the shutdown, rumor has it that he’s busy drafting Republican demands over the debt ceiling. I kid you not. He built this shutdown with his sequester love and his budget that even Republicans couldn’t make work.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.