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Sunday, December 4, 2016

New polls from Washington Post-ABC News, Pew Research Center and CNN released Monday all show Americans blaming Republicans for the government shutdown more than President Obama or Democrats.

The Washington Post-ABC News poll finds that 70 percent of Americans disapprove of the way House Republicans are handling budget negotiations. That’s an increase of 7 percent since last week, as President Obama’s approval rating went up 4 points to 45 percent. Among moderates and independents, 73 percent disapprove of the GOP.

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Both parties are siding with their members of Congress, but there is a schism between conservatives and moderates in the Republican Party. Conservatives approve of the way their representatives are conducting the negotiations 59 to 39 percent, while slightly more moderates — 49 percent — disapprove of their party, compared to the 44 percent who approve.

Pew’s poll of 1,000 adults found that 30 percent blamed President Obama for the shutdown, down from 36 percent in the middle of September. The share of those polled blaming Republicans was down 1 point at, 38 percent. The percentage of those who blame neither was up more than 5 percent.

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Pew also had good news for the Obama administration on the debt limit, which the Treasury is likely to reach around October 17. In 2011, during the last debt limit crisis, only 40 percent of Americans said the limit needed to be raised to avoid a crisis. That share is up to 47 percent. Despite protestations from Tea Partiers, nearly all economists believe that not raising the debt limit would trigger a default and an economic disaster. President Obama has vowed not to negotiate on the debt limit, saying that it would set a terrible precedent for future presidents.

Only 23 percent of Tea Partiers, who make up a large percentage of GOP primary voters, believe that the limit must be raised.

CNN/ORC International’s survey finds that Americans are angry, but slightly more angry at Republicans than President Obama or Democrats. The poll of 1,009 adults nationwide found that 63 percent of Americans are angry at House Republicans compared to 57 percent who are angry at Democrats and 53 percent angry at the president.

Republicans are celebrating the fact that they’re not being blamed by the huge margins they were during the shutdowns of 1995-1996, before Fox News and the birth of social media. So while the right’s spin machine hasn’t been able to effectively cast more blame on the president, it will likely keep many Republicans from ever finding out just how much the public blames them.

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