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Another Poll Full of Bad News for the GOP

Now that the shutdown is over, at least for a few months, the polling data coming in is showing just how bad the whole fiasco was for the Republican party in the minds of voters. And the numbers are so one-sided in a new ABC/Washington Post poll that they are kind of astonishing.

President Obama’s favorability ratings have stayed about the same, pretty much a dead heat with 48% approving of the job he’s doing and 49% disapproving. The numbers for the Republican party’s handling of the budget showdown? A whopping 77% disapproval and only 21% approval. And among registered voters, it’s 81% disapproval, with 62% strongly disapproving. Asked if they have a favorable or unfavorable view of the Republican party, 63% said unfavorable and only half, 32%, said favorable. Favorable/unfavorable for the Tea Party is at 59% negative and 25% positive.

And this is a very interesting question and result. When asked if they think President Obama “is more interested in doing what’s best for the country or what’s best for himself politically,” 52% said he does what’s best for the country and 46% say he does what’s best for him. Asked the same question about the Republicans in Congress, a staggering 77% said they act in their own political interests and against the best interests of the country, with only 20% saying they do what’s right.

And the numbers just keep coming. 81% disapproved of the government shutdown; 17% approved of it. And they blamed Republicans rather than Obama for it by a 53%-29% margin. 86% said that the shutdown damaged America’s standing in the world and 80% thought it damaged the economy.

Now the relevant question is whether this even matters to the Tea Party caucus among House Republicans, who seem to be completely oblivious to public opinion (largely because they live in an echo chamber and believe that the majority actually supports them, all evidence to the contrary being ignored or dismissed). If so, we might avoid the same thing in January. If not, it’s groundhog day again.

Comments

  1. says

    Please stop printing these polls because the Republican party may find out. They clearly still believe that the only thing wrong with the shutdown was that they gave up too soon.

    And we need them to do this again closer to the election. Because the only way we can get this nation back on track and focused on the middle class (as well as focused on the poor because where do you think the middle class comes from) and stop focusing on tax cuts and deregulation for the rich.

    We need a majority in the house and about 62 seats* in the senate in order to get back on track. And with the attention span most Americans have, the only way we can get there is for there to be another shutdown debacle going into the next election.

    * and preferably no blue dogs.

  2. busterggi says

    Don’t worry Mark, Rethugs ‘know’ that any poll that doesn’t agree with them is ‘skewed’ so they won’t believe it.

  3. blf says

    If not, it’s groundhog day again.

    Why? Isn’t the theethug clique a comparatively small minority?

    My impression is the non-theethug thugs were frightened of the thethug “supporters”, and desiring of the kochroach brothers (and others) monies, and were lead by an incompetent, so went along with the train-wreck. It doesn’t take that many non-theethug thugs to vote for sanity (assuming their incompetent leader will allow a vote) to stop or avoid wrecking the train.

  4. briandavis says

    I’d be interested in seeing what the numbers were in republican districts. Most representatives won’t care that the country as a whole blames their party for the problem as long as their gerrymandered districts will still reelect them.

  5. lofgren says

    The only rational explanation for the Republicans’ strategy was that they thought the Democrats would cave, cave quickly, and cave totally. Anything else was bound to hurt them. Even if you assume the righteousness of their cause, that the AFA is so disastrous it’s worth shutting down the government and risking default, most outcomes were demonstrably worse, both for the GOP and the country in general. If the shutdown dragged out, that would be bad. If the shutdown led to a default, that would be bad. If the Republicans abandoned their obstinance, that would be bad. They created a situation for themselves where anything less than total victory put them in a worse situation than they were before.

  6. John Pieret says

    The Teabagger Congresscritters won’t care, because they come from districts (usually gerrymandered) where those polls percentages are probably reversed. Their constituencies probably are cheering them right now by sizable margins. The rest of the Republicans (not all of whom are in lock-down districts and who may have an interest in winning national elections) will have to decide whether they will drop the Hassert rule and join with the Democrats to avoid another fiasco and risk primary challenges from their right.

  7. raven says

    how bad the whole fiasco was for the Republican party in the minds of voters.

    It also seriously damaged the USA. We are still adding up the totals.

    Direct costs of $24 billion, cut .6% off of quarterly GDP growth, US Treasury bond market down, interest rates on Treasuries up impacting the national debt payments, US dollar down 6%, loss of confidence among our allies and trading partners. All that and our enemies are cheering wildly. The Afghani Taliban even put out a press release laughing at us.

    This might not be treason but it is about as close as you can get and not be so.

    And all that to keep a few poor, self employed, and preexisting conditions from obtaining private health insurance?

  8. raven says

    A whopping 77% disapproval and only 21% approval.

    This is right at the Crazifaction Limit.

    20% of the US population are Geocentrists who can’t diagram the solar system, a task I learned in the first grade. This is an important metric.

    It says that 20% of the US population will believe something or anything, no matter how stupid it is.

  9. roggg says

    I can see the Tea Party element viewing the GOP unfavorably for backing down, and I can see sane people viewing the GOP unfavorably for allowing the Tea Party to seize control in the first place. I’m not sure who could be seeing them favorably in all this aside from maybe those who are so partisan as to not care what the GOP does or does not do.

  10. suttkus says

    Yeah, but those polls didn’t ask the questions of Real Americans™. Real Americans™ know that the shut down is Obama’s fault or a good thing (because less government YAY!). Only polls that are limited to Real Americans™ matter.

  11. raven says

    I’m sure the hardcore Tea Partiers haven’t learned one thing. They say so themselves.

    Michele Bachmann has probably forgotten all about it already.

    A few of them said that a US default would be no big deal or even a positive outcome. The fact is, US Treasuries underlie most of the global banking system. It would be global Great Recession or depression.

  12. Sastra says

    Asked if they have a favorable or unfavorable view of the Republican party, 63% said unfavorable and only half, 32%, said favorable. Favorable/unfavorable for the Tea Party is at 59% negative and 25% positive.

    Interesting. I would have thought more people would have a negative view of Tea Party Republicans than of Republicans in general.

  13. eric says

    The only rational explanation for the Republicans’ strategy was that they thought the Democrats would cave, cave quickly, and cave totally.

    Nah, it’s like @5 said; the individual house GOPers are taking a rational strategy towards reelection, its just that this leads to collective failure. Sort of like a prisoner’s dilemma only with the “defect” and “cooperate” labels reversed: cooperating with the ultraconservatives always individually beats defecting from them, but when all GOPers cooperate, they screw themselves.

  14. MyPetSlug says

    The question is how successful will Fox be at rewriting the narrative between now and the next election to try and undo the damage. That’s plan A. Try to pin the blame on the Democrats for the shutdown and any damage it cause. I wanted to fund the government honestly, but the Dems thought funding Obamacare was more important than WWII monuments. Plan B is now to try and literally sabotage Obamacare, first, by convincing people not to sign up, second, by trying to exaggerate any problems that show up or the burden it poses on people/businesses, and third, by blaming anything bad that happens in the rest of the country on Obamacare. ZOMG, hiring is down. It must be due to the ACA (nothing to do we the shutdown we caused). It’s killing America! If that goes well, then the Republicans can all turn around and say, I took a stand against this insufferable evil.

    My educated guess is that polls will be much different come close to election time, though I still don’t think it will be a positive for the Republicans.

    What the Dems need to do is continue to attack the Republicans on the issues that are dividing their party right now. Push immigration reform hard. Either they pass a bipartisan bill and Obama can claim a big victory or it stalls in the house while the Republicans continue to blast each other and Obama can accurately point the finger at them. Then deficit reduction and so on. Try to drive a wedge between the few moderates and the tea party.

  15. sawells says

    On the strategy point – a lot of the Tea Party congressmen seem to have really thought that the shutdown would stop the healthcare.gov rollout. Because none of them know enough civics to understand their own jobs.

  16. freemage says

    Sastra: I noted that point, too. But 25% seems to be the TP membership/support in the first place, so this doesn’t surprise me that much. I figure a lot of the Tea Party folks said they view the GOP negatively because ‘they caved’.

  17. lofgren says

    the individual house GOPers are taking a rational strategy towards reelection, its just that this leads to collective failure.

    Well I guess we’ll see, but I don’t think that’s true. They could have kept getting reelected for decades on bluster. Actually letting it get this far only risks failure, and the authoritarian GOP base doesn’t look kindly on failure.

  18. Hatchetfish says

    MyPetSlug’s theoretical fauxnews talking head: “but the Dems thought funding Obamacare was more important than WWII monuments.”

    Well, this one does. The WWII vets deserve their recognition, but saving lives vs monuments to the past is a pretty fucking easy call, assuming functional ethical reasoning anyway.

  19. Trebuchet says

    Unfortunately, it’s a year too early. The electorate has a short memory. Faux Noise has a year to get them back in line, and the BigBiz Republican’s have a year to work on getting the monster they unleashed back under control and prevent the more moderate R’s from being primaried.

  20. D. C. Sessions says

    The WWII vets deserve their recognition, but saving lives vs monuments to the past is a pretty fucking easy call, assuming functional ethical reasoning anyway.

    You can never tell. One co-worker got way more upset about the delayed military death benefits than about the immediate loss of health care to living vets and the shutdown of disease tracking at the CDC. It seems that (contrary to the Bible, for what it’s worth) it’s more important to honor the dead than to care for the living.

  21. Suido says

    @markmckee #1

    and preferably no blue dogs.

    Actually, I think blue dogs are the key to the democrats taking full control in the short term. Blue dogs are their best bet to win gerrymandered districts from the republicans. The democratic party is already centrist, so it should exploit that in the short term.

    The key, strategically, is to ensure safe blue districts are all electing actual left wingers, not centrists. Start cultivating a genuine left wing extreme within the democrats, to pull the overton window the other way.

    And watch the republicans howl when every district gerrymandered to have 90% democrat voters starts electing mixed race, bisexual, transgender academics with degrees relating to social justice.

  22. MyPetSlug says

    @ 22,
    “and preferably no blue dogs” bothers me. I wonder how this is any different than the tea partiers saying “and no RINOs”. I think the key to victory for the Dems both short and long term is to have a broad coalition that includes the social liberal fiscally conservative. It’s the Republicans that have become ideologically rigid and purity obsessed. The Dems don’t need to follow their example.

  23. Michael Heath says

    To MyPetSlug’s point.

    As of 2010 my U.S. Representative is a tea bagger who is also a reality denier (Dan Benishek); he replaced a Democrat, Bart Stupak, who could arguably be referred to as a blue dog. voted with the Democrats on their budgets, the bailout, the stimulus, Obamacare, protecting the environment, and the rights of unions. I miss him greatly relative to what we have now.

  24. lpetrich says

    There is something rather weird about the composition of the Suicide Caucus (those who signed the Meadows Letter) and the Survival Caucus (those Republicans who voted to end the shutdown). New Yorker magazine has articles about both, complete with maps of their locations. While the Shutdown Caucus was broadly distributed, the Survival Caucus was much thinner in much of the ex-Confederacy. I worked out the numbers using the states’ statuses during the Civil War:

    Region, Suicide, Survival, Tilt = (surv – suic)/(surv + suic)
    Union 27 48 0.28
    Neutral 4 3 -0.14
    Confederacy 38 20 -0.31
    Territories 11 16 0.19
    Total 80 87 0.04

    Territories = not yet a state back then

    So the ex-Confederacy supported the shutdown while the then-Union supported ending it.

  25. Trebuchet says

    So the ex-Confederacy supported the shutdown while the then-Union supported ending it.

    Did this surprise you for some reason?

  26. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    “and preferably no blue dogs” bothers me. I wonder how this is any different than the tea partiers saying “and no RINOs”.

    Simple. By “RINOs” they mean politicians who are insufficiently authoritarian nutjobs obsessed with destroying the social contract, and by Blue Dogs we mean politicians who fail to wholeheartedly repudiate authoritarian nutjobbery and obsession with destroying the social order.

    It’s almost like results matter to moral arguments and the truth of premises matters to arguments “in theory.”

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