Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) spent the summer of 2013 telling Republicans that the conventional wisdom about the government shutdowns the 1990s was wrong.
“The sort of cocktail chatter wisdom that, ‘Oh, the shutdown was a disaster for Republicans,’ is not borne out by the data,” he said.
Cruz’s argument won over enough Republicans that they were willing to engage in a shutdown of their own — and the results were jaw-droppingly terrible for the GOP, but great for the junior senator from Texas.
“Measured head-to-head, the public blames the Republicans in Congress for the shutdown over Obama by 53-29 percent – similar to the result measuring then-President Bill Clinton vs. the Republicans in January 1996, after their own shutdown battle,” ABC News’ Gary Langer reports, based on a new ABC News/Washington Post poll.
The real problem for the GOP is that it fixated the public on the House of Representatives.
“Republicans’ detour into what some have described as a defund-at-all-costs ‘cul de sac’ has turned a negative spotlight on the party to an extent no Democratic ad could ever achieve,” The Cook Political Report’s David Wasserman said last week.
A flurry of new polls shows that the damage to the GOP’s image may have long-lasting effects and could possibly cost them their House majority, something that no serious observers considered a possibility before October 1 of this year.
Here are four bits of information from the latest polls that Republicans are hoping either aren’t true or will change quickly.
Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr