WASHINGTON -- A new Wall Street Journal/NBC poll finds that the public blames the Republican Party more for the shutdown than President Barack Obama -- by a 22-point margin (53 percent to 31 percent). That's a wider margin of blame for the GOP than the party received during the poll during the last shutdown in 1995-96.
NBC News quoted Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart, who conducted the survey with Republican pollster Bill McInturff: "If it were not so bad for the country, the results could almost make a Democrat smile.... These numbers lead to one inescapable conclusion: The Republicans are not tone deaf; they are stone deaf."
The poll was taken Oct. 7-9.
A new AP-GfK poll finds that Americans are fed up with Washington and spreading derision around to Obama and both political parties, and that could sound a warning for incumbents of all political stripes going into next year's midterm election.
Negativity historically hurts the party in power -- particularly when it occurs in the second term of a presidency -- but this round seems to be hitting everyone, and Republicans even harder. The AP-GfK poll finds about 7 in 10 view the Republican Party and the tea party movement unfavorably, while about half have an unfavorable view of the president and his Democratic Party.
The numbers offer warning signs for every lawmaker running for re-election, and if these angry sentiments stretch into next year, the 2014 elections could feel much like the 2006 and 2010 midterms when being affiliated with Washington was considered toxic by many voters. In 2006, voters booted Republicans from power in the House and Senate, and in 2010, they fired Democrats who had been controlling the House.
"There needs to be a major change," said Pam Morrison, 56, of Lincoln, Neb., among those who were surveyed. "I'm anxious for the next election to see what kind of new blood we can get."
The AP poll taken Oct. 3-7 finds few people approve of the way Obama is handling most major issues, and most people say he's not decisive, strong, honest, reasonable or inspiring.