Oopsie. Republicans were planning on blame for the GOP shutdown being shifted to Democrats as time went on, but a new Post-ABC poll shows that in week 2, more Americans disapprove of the GOP’s tactics. Disapproval “shot up to 70 percent, with 51 percent disapproving ‘strongly,'” according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
At the time, President Obama’s approval rating went up a few notches. Or, as Ted Cruz likes to call it, “Winning GOP Style.”
The poll asked the question, Q: Do you approve or disapprove of the way The Republicans in Congress are handling negotiations over the federal budget? Just 24% approved, with 70% disapproving. That’s moving in the wrong direction for the GOP, since in the polling from September 25-29, 63% disapproved of Republicans and 26% approved.
“Q: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling negotiations over the federal budget?” 45% approve to 51% who disapprove, which is an up from the 41% approval to 50% disapproval in the September 25-29th poll.
But the public is blaming Democrats too. They have 61% disapproval, and 35% approval, but Republicans have 51% who disapprove strongly. That number grew from 42% in the September 25-29 poll. In the September 25-29 poll, 56% disapproved of Democrats while 34% approved.
This is that phenomenon that Republicans bank on – the blame for “gridlock” and “shutdown” gets spread around, especially with our media reporting “he said she said” style instead of fact checking. So Republicans take a hit, but so do Democrats. Republicans bank on the “both sides do it” false equivalency meme that our media likes to embrace. But even the white knight of false equivalency might not be able to save the GOP this time, because polls are also showing them losing the House in 2014 against generic Democrats.
Yes, it’s early for 2014 predictions and the Republican party is no doubt soothing itself with dreams of gerrymandered safe districts and the short term memories of the American voters, but if they let this shutdown continue and default on the debt ceiling, they can forget 2014. They are already facing challenges in red states due to their unprecedented failure of governing responsibility.
It should be noted that the poll question itself is a misleading one. Do you approve or disapprove of the way the party is handling “negotiations over the federal budget”? That’s not what’s going on. That is how Republicans are framing what’s going on, but it’s not what’s going on.
A) No one is “negotiating”. B) Republicans refused to come to budget conference 18 times, preferring to wait until they had two hostages in their crosshairs. C) This is not about the federal budget; it’s about whether or not one party should be allowed to hold the government hostage when they lose elections. D) ObamaCare is unrelated to the federal budget. It’s a law that already passed and was vetted by both the Supreme Court and the voters. If this is about the “federal budget” why did Republicans shutdown the government over ObamaCare?
So, even within the framework of this poorly worded, Republican narrative oriented question, Republicans are still losing support for the way they are handling things. Meanwhile, Obama’s approval over his handling of it is moving skyward. If Obama is the enemy of Republicans, this means they are losing their battle against this President.
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.