A whopping 68 percent of people surveyed say a government shutdown of even a few days would be a bad thing, according to a new CNN/ORC International poll released on Monday. However, 56 percent of those who identify as Tea Party supporters say it would be a good thing, compared to 40 percent of self-described Republicans.
A plurality of 46 percent say they would blame House Republicans compared to 36 percent who would blame the president, but that number has shifted slightly in Republicans’ favor over the last few weeks.
The poll sets up the frame that Congress and President Obama are acting like “spoiled children.” Only the president makes it out of this question with some dignity, with 49 percent saying he’s behaving as a responsible adult, compared to 47 percent who say he’s acting like a spoiled child. Only 25 percent think Republicans have acted like adults, while 69 percent see them as spoiled kids.
The worst news for Republicans? Even 52 percent of Tea Partiers believe that House Republicans are acting like petulant children.
Tea Partiers want a government shutdown and also believe their reps aren’t acting like adults. Apparently, their fear is that Republicans may not be willing to shut down the government, at least for a few days.
Herein lies the rub for the GOP. The Tea Party is near an all-time low in popularity, but still makes up a huge chunk of the Republican base, especially those who vote in every primary. While the Republican Party needs to grow its appeal to win presidential elections, doing so may actually hurt House Republicans. America is becoming more diverse, but Republican districts actually became less diverse in 2012.
In a recent United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll, 54 percent of minority voters said they think Obamacare will benefit them or their families, which is exactly double the percentage of white voters who said the same thing.
The CNN/ORC poll found that only 39 percent of Americans actually oppose the Affordable Care Act because it’s too liberal, which proves the point that the opposition to Obamacare continues to come primarily from the Republican base. Two-thirds of Republican voters said the law was too liberal, however 9 percent said it wasn’t liberal enough.
A short shutdown may be a good thing to the far right, but they do have their limits.
Even a slight majority of Tea Partiers think a shutdown lasting several weeks would be a bad thing, joining 79 percent of all voters who are opposed to a long-term shutdown.
AFP Photo/Nicholas Kamm