Poll shows Americans swiftly and harshly turn against GOP

(Updated below)

During the last government shutdown, polls showed that people mostly tuned it out a week before the deadline, but as many as half of all Americans were following news closely within 24 hours.

More people learning what the House of Representatives was doing was bound to change public opinion, and it has. A Quinnipiac poll from Sep 23-29 came out today and it’s terrible news for Republicans:

– Voters oppose the shutdown to delay Obamacare 72-22; oppose blocking the debit limit increase for the same reason 64-27.

– A plurality disfavor the law 47-45, but a strong majority want it funded 58-34. It’s become painfully clear that a serious chunk of opposition to the law amongst voters is because they don’t think it’s good enough, it’s not that they don’t want it around.

– A plurality of Republicans favor a shutdown 49-44, but they are living in their own reality. Dems oppose it 90-6 and Independents oppose it 74-19. Together with even half of Republicans opposing the shutdown, the House GOP is inarguably to the far right of center in America. To take Ted Cruz’s line of attack, the GOP is not listening to America.

– Voters trust President Obama more than Republicans on helping the poor (63-26), the middle class (51-38), on health care (47-38), and the economy (47-42). Republicans hold miniscule leads on the plummeting deficit (43-42) and gun policy (45-42). The gun number is amazingly low

– Democrats lead the House generic ballot question 43-34 (+10). The question (“which party would you vote for if an election were held today?”) has always predicted which party would win a majority of seats in the past. That changed with extensive political redistricting (gerrymandering) by the GOP after 2010.

Even though Democrats lead the generic ballot question last year, Republicans still maintained a strong majority in the House, the first time in history that has ever happened and it was only because of gerrymandering.

With 2010 districts, a 43-34 lead would mean a big majority win for Democrats in the House. With the gerrymandering, it may not be enough to have even a single seat majority.

You can’t rely too much on a single poll, but this is a reputable organization that polled a lot of people (1500, more than average) over a long period of time (seven days). It should be a strong signal and low noise.

If this is what’s happening to the GOP a day before they actually shut down the government, I’d hate to see what it looks like a week from now. I don’t know the odds, but they aren’t miniscule anymore. This could easily cost Republicans the House and hand control of the federal government back to Democrats.

* * *

Some interesting links:

House Republicans frustrated with own defunding fight – “House Republicans who opposed the defunding of Obamacare are beginning to speak out and are threatening to withdraw their support for the strategy if the government shutdown persists.

Are House Republicans looking for a way out? – “‘At some point in time, Senator Cruz and his allies are going to have to define an endgame that’s successful,’ Winston told me. ‘And they haven’t done that yet. If they don’t, then this is going to have to be resolved some other way.’

Starting in the center – “A regular Maddow Blog reader emailed overnight to ask for more information on what Democrats have already compromised on in this process. The short answer is, ‘Everything.’

Fox News site: It’s a government ‘slimdown’ – “The website of Fox News has deemed the situation in Washington a ‘slimdown’ and not a ‘shutdown.’ Although ‘slimdown’ hasn’t been used on air yet, it’s all over the Fox News homepage. An article on the site says that although the Obama administration is portraying what’s happening as a ‘shutdown’ of the federal government, ‘it’s turning out to be more of a ‘slimdown,’ as all but non-essential workers reported to their jobs Tuesday.’

[Note: I’ve seen several politicos mocking Republicans for simultaneously saying this isn’t a shutdown, to blunt damage to themselves, while blaming Democrats and Obama for this horrible, terrible shutdown. Now you have, too.]

Obama Would Veto House Republicans’ Partial Government Funding Bills  – “President Barack Obama would veto piecemeal bills that would restore funding only to certain parts of the government like federal parks, veterans programs and the District of Columbia rather than a broad government spending bill, White House spokeswoman Amy Brundage said on Tuesday. “These piecemeal efforts are not serious, and they are no way to run a government,” Brundage said in a statement” …

National Park Closures Could Cost Local Communities $30 Million A Day In Lost Revenue

Republicans Split On Whether To Give Back Pay To Workers Furloughed In Government Shutdown

Ian Millhiser: “LOLZ at Republicans attacking the fact that http://healthcare.gov  can’t handle all the traffic because OBAMACARE IS SO FUCKING POPULAR.”

I’ll add more links and Tweets as they pop up this evening.

Should I cover every day of the shutdown? Let me know in comments.

* * *

Update I
The House is voting on a bill to end benefit delays for veterans during the shutdown, one of several mini-CRs Republicans wanted to use to try to fund the entire government one piece at a time, except for… well, they don’t say, because Obamacare isn’t funded through a CR so it’s not like they can just leave it for last and then let it rot on the vine.

President Obama promised today to veto all of these mini-CRs, which means 2/3rds of the chamber has to approve it, and that was under House rules so it won’t get to the Senate if it failed. It did fail, so yet another GOP gambit has gone up in smoke.

[Lesser update: A second similar mini-CR just failed.]

Update II
All three mini-CRs failed, even with 2-3 dozen Democrats crossing party lines. Needed 280 or so, most got around 250-260. John Boehner’s options are running out.

About Paul Tenny

I'm not a journalist but I do it anyway. I cover elections and have interviewed television writers and producers.