A new Quinnipiac University Poll has found that 69% of Americans and 56% of Republicans oppose shutting down the government over defunding Planned Parenthood.
According to Quinnipiac:
American voters oppose 69 – 23 percent, including 56 – 36 percent among Republicans, shutting down the federal government in the dispute over funding Planned Parenthood.
By a smaller 52 – 41 percent, voters oppose cutting off federal funding to Planned Parenthood, the independent Quinnipiac University Poll finds. There is a large gender gap as men support a fund cutoff 49 – 44 percent while women oppose the cutoff 60 – 34 percent. Opposition to the cutoff is 82 – 12 percent among Democrats and 56 – 37 percent among independent voters. Republicans support the cutoff 71 – 25 percent.
Republicans will be catering to a small minority of anti-choice extremists within their own party if they shut down the government over Planned Parenthood. It is widely expected that the Republican Congressional leadership will cave and pass a short-term Continuing Resolution to keep the government open this week.
The problem for Republicans is that a short-term CR will only delay the inevitable fight within their party. The idea of shutting down the government to defund Planned Parenthood isn’t going to more any more popular three months from now than it is today.
Republican voters want Planned Parenthood defunded, but they refuse to acknowledge the reality that their party doesn’t have the power to accomplish this goal. Without 60 votes in the Senate and a Republican in the White House, funding for Planned Parenthood isn’t going anywhere.
The party is caught is a web of its own extremism. Republican presidential candidates Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Rand Paul (R-KY) are trying to provoke a government shutdown to jumpstart their flatlined presidential campaigns.
Planned Parenthood is not going to be defunded, and if Republicans shut down the government, they are going to get hammered on Election Day. Democrats won’t be blamed for a government shutdown.
The Republican refusal to embrace reality could pave the way for Democrats to keep the White House and take back the Senate, but Republicans had to pick a fight that they were never going to win.